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Tony and family outside

Tony Hudgell’s trailblazing first steps

The incredible Tony Hudgell inspired the nation to raise £1.8m for Evelina London, his second home.

His remarkable journey will have a huge impact on not only the Evelina London family, but children and young people in communities across the south east.

It’s a journey that started when Tony was just weeks old and was brought to Evelina London’s A&E department. With his little life hanging in the balance, the phenomenal hospital team fought to save Tony. And thanks to their compassionate care and pioneering expertise, Tony went from strength to strength.

When Tony was four years old, he had to have both his legs amputated. Amazingly, while he was learning to walk on his prosthetic legs, he decided to raise money for the people who were caring for him.

Tony set out to raise £500 by walking 10km on his new legs. Twelve kilometres and £1.8 million later, Tony had smashed his fundraising target!

Just three years later, the unstoppable Tony took on a new challenge – determined to raise even more money for Evelina London. This time, Tony summitted Orrest Head in the Lake District, a steep climb of over 120 metres. Again, he went beyond expectations, raising considerable funds to support the charity.

In January 2024, inspirational Tony became the youngest ever person to be recognised in the New Year Honours List. At just nine-years old, he received a British Empire Medal for his services to the prevention of child abuse. Find out more about Tony’s fundraising on his website.

“I cannot find enough words to show how proud I am of all that Tony has achieved, He is a huge inspiration, not just to his peers, but to all of us. He will always have a very special place in our hearts.”

Mr Kokkinakis, Tony’s surgeon and friend

Tony’s lasting impact

Thanks to Tony’s amazing fundraising, we’re helping children like him access the specialist care they need even closer to home. And we’ve bought some pioneering new equipment to help the devoted Evelina London orthopaedics team:

  • Virtual reality headsets will help explain surgery to children and make them feel less anxious before hospital procedures.
  • Special orthopaedic software linked to 3D printers will help the team to plan and perform delicate surgeries in children with complex injuries.
  • A 3D camera system in operating theatres will help train more surgeons to perform rare and complex surgeries, not only at Evelina London but across the UK.

Half a million pounds of the money Tony raised has gone to Evelina London’s new Children’s Day Surgery Unit.

The Day Surgery Unit in the Children’s Day Treatment Centre provides vital surgery for children and young people who don’t need to stay overnight. Opened in July last year, the unit is home to two state-of-the-art operating theatres which mean the team can treat up to 2,300 more children each year.

To help every patient have the best possible experience of healthcare, the Children’s Day Surgery Unit has been shaped by children and young people. Funded by Evelina London Children’s Charity, the unit showcases incredible art throughout, designed to distract from anxious feelings and support the best possible delivery of care.

We’re so proud that Tony is a part of our Evelina London family. To say thank you to him for his extraordinary fundraising, we’ve installed a very special ceiling tile. The tile has a permanent place in the Unit, and features Tony as an inspirational astronaut!

“It was absolutely wonderful to visit the Children’s Day Surgery Unit and see the surprise on Tony’s face when he saw himself as an astronaut in the place that saved his life. I could not be prouder of our boy - his strength and determination brightens our every day - and we hope his fundraising helps bring smiles to all the children who walk through Evelina London’s doors.”

Paula, Tony’s mum
Image of Tony Hudgell viewing the Children

Help the compassionate team at Evelina London provide care to more incredible children like Tony.