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Age 5 Boy Who Lost Legs to Abuse Raises Over $1M for Hospital That Saved His Life

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A 5-year-old British boy, who at the age of five weeks had to have both legs amputated after neglect inflicted by his birth parents, has just raised more than $1 million for the hospital that cared for him when he was struggling just to stay alive.

Tony Hudgell raised more than 1 million pounds, which amounts to $1.24 million, by walking 10 kilometers on his prosthetic legs, according to Reuters.

Paula Hudgell, who along with her husband adopted the boy in 2016, said he received his artificial legs in February, and after an unsteady start now managed to complete his goal of walking 6.2 miles in June to raise money for the hospital.

The fundraising challenge was inspired by a similar challenge offered by a 95-year-old British man who walked around his garden 100 times to raise 33 million pounds.

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Tony said his June walking challenge was “really fun,” but that is also felt “really good” to have it completed.

The boy initially set a target of 500 pounds, but kept raising it as support rolled in.

Seeing the boy walk 10 kilometers was the furthest thing from Paula Hudgell’s mind when she first met her adopted son, who was four months old when she saw him in Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

“He’d had all his limbs broken, he’d had blood trauma to the face, sepsis, multi-organ failure, and they never expected him to survive,” she said.

“We took him home.”

Back then, she said, her son was “broken, shutdown, a tiny, tiny underweight little boy.”

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She and her husband, also named Tony, adopted the boy because “[w]e didn’t want him to go anywhere else, he was our little boy by then,” she said.

Consultant Michail Kokkinakis said that family support and the boy’s determination have brought him through very difficult years.

“I have seen him thriving, I have seen him becoming this very confident and bright young boy he is today,” he said.

“He’s a huge inspiration to us all.”

Paula Hudgell said her son’s ability to walk has floored her.

“[It] is incredible to think just three and half weeks ago he could barely take a few steps.”

The boy told reporters his next challenge is a “hard question,” but he has set a lofty career goal for himself.

“I want to handcuff bad people and robbers,” he said.

The hospital issued its thanks for the boy’s actions.

“Paula has been giving us regular updates and we’ve been amazed at his progress,” Caroline Gormley, associate director of fundraising at the hospital, said in a statement, according to CNN.

“His strength and the generosity of everyone who has donated will make such an incredible difference. He has made everyone at Evelina London so proud.”

Jody Simpson and Tony Smith, the boy’s birth parents, were convicted of child cruelty in 2018 and are currently serving prison terms, according to the BBC.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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