Brave Tony Hudgell is set to hit the £500,000 mark as he reaches the half-way point in his 10km challenge for the hospital that saved his life.
The five-year-old, who lost both his legs as a baby after horrific abuse by his birth parents, is walking on his new prosthetic legs and crutches every day this month to reach his target.
Tony was 41 days old when he was admitted to hospital in 2014, so badly injured he was not expected to survive.
Medics battled to save him and later amputated both legs below the knee, and adoptive parents Paula and Mark Hudgell were warned he might not crawl, let alone walk.
But today, using limbs fitted three months ago, he will have notched up 5km.
He has already raised over £440,000 for Evelina Children’s Hospital in Lambeth, South London – well over his original £500 target.
Paula said: “When I brought Tony home he was four months old, tiny and withdrawn. He was extremely poorly, his legs in plaster and arms only out of plaster the day before.
Looking at what he’s achieved, you can’t imagine he’s the same child.”
Thanking readers for their good wishes, she added: “We’re so thankful for everyone’s love and support. We’ve kept all the messages in a memory box for Tony.”
Tony has covered around 300m a day at a green near his home in Kings Hill, Kent, since June 1, inspired by ex-Army officer Captain Tom Moore, who raised £33million for the NHS walking laps of his garden.
Paula said: “We wanted him to have a challenge to see if his prosthetics would work. Since starting, he is stronger and can move so fast.”
It has raised hopes that Tony – who also has a dislocated left hip, arthritis and partial deafness from the abuse – might one day walk unsupported.
Paula, 52, and finance worker Mark, 55, are fighting for a “Tony’s Law” for tougher sentences for cruelty cases, with life terms for perpetrators.