A boy who suffered horrific child abuse and had to have his legs amputated has been fitted with his first prosthetic legs.
Tony Hudgell, 5, had his legs amputated at the knee in 2017 after being violently attacked by his birth parents at just 41 days old.
Little Tony suffered various injuries at the hands of his parents, including numerous fractures, multiple organ failure and sepsis.
Up until having his new legs fitted, he was wearing short prosthetics called ‘stubbies’ with a Spider-Man design on them and would use his hands and bum to move around as well as a wheelchair and hand-trike.
Tony, known to friends and family as Bear, became more determined to walk with “proper legs” after seeing young amputees playing football on BBC’s Children In Need.
He was at first unimpressed with his new legs because they hadn’t yet been decorated with Batman and The Joker cartoons.
Tony’s adoptive mum Paula, 52, told the Mirror: “He looked at them in silence before giving them a whack, knocking them over, and saying ‘Boring!’
“But now they look how he wants. As soon as he was up and about on them it was incredible to see the immediate difference they made.
“When Bear first stood up he gasped in surprise and said ‘Look how tall I am!’
“The fact the wants Batman and The Jokers on them perfectly sums up Bear too. He’s our little superhero who makes us smile from ear to ear. He is walking tall - there’s no stopping him.”
Paula and husband Mark, 55, of Kings Hill, Kent, have no doubts that Tony - the youngest of their eight children - will be determined to overcome any obstacles despite having a permanently dislocated hip, arthritis and deafness in his right ear.
Paula added: “The only problem we have at the moment is that he wants to run on his new legs and feet before he can actually walk on them.”
Tony is overjoyed to be able to stand tall with his classmates and play football with his 12-year-old brother Jaden - they even have matching trainers.
His birth parents Jody Simpson and Tony Smith were jailed for a maximum of ten years in 2018 for the child abuse inflicted on their son.
Paula is now campaigning for tougher sentences for those convicted of child abuse offence and wants it to be named Tony’s Law.