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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and former PM David Cameron praise boy, 5, for raising over £900,000

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised a five-year-old double amputee who has raised more than £1million for the NHS by trying to walk 10km.

Prince William and Kate, both 38, said they were ‘so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown’ by Tony Hudgell, who had both of his legs amputated as a baby after suffering horrific abuse from his birth parents.

Tony, from West Malling, Kent, has vowed to walk every day in June to raise money for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital to thank the staff for saving his life when he was just five weeks old. 

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, whose son Ivan was cared for by the hospital before his death, aged six in 2009 from a rare neurological disorder, also paid tribute to Tony’s efforts in a video shared on the health centre’s Twitter

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have praised a five-year-old double amputee(pictured)  who has raised more than £1million for the NHS by trying to walk 10km

Prince William and Kate, both 38, said  (above) they were 'so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown' by Tony Hudgell, who had both of his legs amputated as a baby after suffering horrific abuse from his birth parents

Prince William and Kate, both 38, said  (above) they were ‘so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown’ by Tony Hudgell, who had both of his legs amputated as a baby after suffering horrific abuse from his birth parents

Tony is raising money for the Evelina London Children's Hospital. Former Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured), whose son Ivan was cared for by the hospital before his death, aged six in 2009 from a rare neurological disorder, also paid tribute to Tony's efforts

Tony is raising money for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Former Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured), whose son Ivan was cared for by the hospital before his death, aged six in 2009 from a rare neurological disorder, also paid tribute to Tony’s efforts

The courageous boy was inspired by World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore, 100, who raised over £30million for frontline nurses and doctors by walking laps of his garden. 

A statement on Prince William and Kate’s social media accounts said: ‘We are so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown by Tony Hudgell, who is aiming to complete a 10km walk to raise funds for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.

‘Tony suffered injuries as a baby which meant that he had to have both of his legs amputated in 2017.

‘Having received his first pair of prosthetic legs earlier this year, Tony vowed to walk 10km throughout June.

‘Visit @tony_hudgell_bears_journey to find out more about Tony’s journey, inspired by Captain Tom Moore, to raise funds and thank the hospital who have cared for him since he was a baby.’

Tony (above), from West Malling, Kent, has vowed to walk every day in June to thank hospital staff for saving his life when he was just five weeks old

Tony (above), from West Malling, Kent, has vowed to walk every day in June to thank hospital staff for saving his life when he was just five weeks old 

The courageous boy was inspired by World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore (pictured), 100, who raised over £30million for frontline nurses and doctors by walking laps of his garden

The courageous boy was inspired by World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore (pictured), 100, who raised over £30million for frontline nurses and doctors by walking laps of his garden 

Alongside the statement, they posted a photograph of a beaming Tony posing during one of his walks.

With just under a week to go before his fundraising ends, Tony’s figure stands at more than £1million when gift aid and offline donations are included, and he has already covered 9.2km.

Mr Cameron, 53, hopes his message will encourage the youngster to keep up his amazing efforts, with the politician saying: ‘Tony, let me congratulate you on your epic walk. It is a huge achievement and what a great cause.

‘My family and I are huge fans of the Evelina Children’s Hospital. Our dear son Ivan spent much time there. We love the staff and also the can-do attitude of the medical team. 

‘So many people, patients, families, staff will receive a huge boost from all the money that you’ve raised. Your story is an inspiration to us all. So thank you. We are right behind you.’

Tony appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier this month with his adoptive family (pictured)

Tony appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier this month with his adoptive family (pictured)

Tony and his family were thrilled to receive his good wishes. Mother Paula, 52, said: ‘We had to tell Tony who David Cameron is and when we said he was a previous Prime Minister he was “Oh wow” and very impressed.

‘We were quite stunned by it ourselves, and emotional to be honest. I remember his beautiful boy Ivan and it was touching to know that Mr Cameron and his family have as much fondness and admiration for the Evelina staff as we do.

‘As he says, the money raised will help so many other children, just like they helped both our sons.’

And Mr Cameron’s not the only well known face to congratulate the youngster on his fundraising, with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta inviting Tony to the football club’s training ground to meet all the players after the coronavirus lockdown finally ends.

Earlier this month, Chelsea right back Azpilicueta sent in a heartwarming message to BBC Breakfast during the young boy’s appearance on the show.

Tony used to wear short prosthetics - known as stubbies, which were covered with a Spider-Man design but became keen to join in with the activities of his peers

Tony used to wear short prosthetics – known as stubbies, which were covered with a Spider-Man design but became keen to join in with the activities of his peers 

Earlier this month, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta (above) invited Tony to the football club's training ground to meet all the players after the coronavirus lockdown finally ends

Earlier this month, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta (above) invited Tony to the football club’s training ground to meet all the players after the coronavirus lockdown finally ends 

‘Hi Tony, it’s Azpi here. Everyone at Chelsea is very proud of you and what you are doing.  You are an inspiration to us all. When things return to normality, I would like you to come to the training ground to meet all the players. Take care, I hope to see you very soon.’

Tony had to have both legs surgically removed after suffering horrific abuse from his birth parents when he was just 41 days old.

He was rushed to hospital in November 2014 with multiple organ failure, several fractures and even sepsis, leaving him on life support at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. His legs had to be amputated in 2017.

When he was discharged from hospital at four months old, he was put into the foster care of Paula and Mark, 55, who later adopted him.

Now, after being fitted with his first pair of artificial legs earlier this year, Tony has vowed to walk 10km to raise money and say thank you to the hospital.

What may seem like an easy task to some is a ‘huge mountain’ for Tony, as he has spent the coronavirus lockdown learning to walk using his crutches.

His biological parents were each jailed for 10 years in 2018 for the physical abuse they inflicted, and Paula is campaigning for tougher sentences for those convicted of such crimes under what would be known as Tony’s Law.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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