Fundraising for the hospital that saved his life since he was 5 years old.
When Tony was just a baby, he suffered from some serious injuries and had to spend a lot of time in hospital. Tony was surrounded by amazing doctors and nurses who fought extremely hard to save his life. He had 23 operations and 8 blood transfusions and had to have both his legs amputated.
When Tony was 5 years old, he learnt of Captain Tom Moore’s 100 laps fundraiser and set himself his own challenge. Tony decided to walk a mighty 300m a day until he got to 10km with the ultimate goal of raising £500 for The Evelina Children’s Hospital which looked after him so well when he was a baby.
Tony had only just got his prosthetic legs and was still learning to walk with crutches, but he absolutely did not let this get in the way. Tony grew in strength and speed every single day – with the first walk taking nearly an hour and the last one taking just 12 minutes! Members of his community started noticing Tony and would come out and cheer him on. Next the local TV station came to film Tony’s walk and interview him about his amazing challenge. Before he knew it Tony had touched supporters all over the country with his bravery, optimism, and infectious smile and had smashed his target, raising more than £1 million – that’s more than 2000 times his original target! Not content to rest on his laurels, Tony decided to keep walking and raising money, eventually reaching 13.8km! Tony has now raised £1.8 million, helping the hospital buy lots of new equipment (including virtual reality goggles to help explain surgery to children!) and allowing them to work with community services to provide rehabilitation therapies in towns and villages across the UK.
Knowing that other poorly children would be able to be well looked after and cared for in hospital thanks to Tony’s fundraising made Tony feel happy and proud. Tony wanted to do even more to help other children, so Tony and his parents, Paula and Mark, set up a new charity called ‘The Tony Hudgell Foundation’ to help improve other children’ lives by adding positivity and spreading kindness.
In 2020, Tony was awarded a Pride of Britain award for his amazing work.
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