Published: 17:19, 02 November 2018
| Updated: 17:22, 02 November 2018
A little boy left disabled at the hands of his birth parents has been presented with a Children's Award for his triumph over such adversity.
At just 41 days old Tony Hudgell was admitted to hospital with multiple injuries and life-threatening septicaemia and few expected him to survive.
His injuries were so serious they would eventually lead to both of his legs being amputated and it is not certain if he will ever walk with prosthetics as the damage to his hip is so bad.
The abuse was carried out by Jody Simpson and Anthony Smith in 2014 both of whom have since been jailed.
Tony, who has now been adopted by loving parents Mark and Paula Hudgell, from Kings Hill, was given a Ward and Partners Children's Award today at a glittering ceremony supported by the KM Group.
Tony, who recently celebrated his fourth birthday, was one of two winners in the Triumph Over Adversity category for children under five and joined a raft of other brave and courageous children and their families at the Mercure Great Danes hotel. The awards were presented by Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins.
The other Children's Award winners are...
Ella Louise McGown
Triumph Over Adversity, children aged 0-5
Joining little Tony Hudgell as a winner in the Triumph Over Adversity category was Ella-Louise McGown from Gillingham.
Born prematurely at 26 weeks, weighing 1lb 12oz her family feared the worst. But after an extremely hard-fought first three months and a difficult journey, which has included a number of visits to Kings for operations, the brave and determined little girl pulled through.
Despite first coming home on oxygen, which she relied on for 18 months to help her breathe, Ella-Louise is now five and doing really well.
Triumph Over Adversity, children aged 6-16
Angel Growns was born with a number of rare disabilities, missing a hip socket and had a significantly reduced femur length resulting in a very short leg on the right, club foot, a hole in the heart, deformity of the lower spine and nerves and increased size ventricles in the brain.
She has endured numerous operations in her short life - including the amputation of her right foot at age 10 in order to help her body tolerate the prosthetic she required. But after being discharged from hospital following the operation, she developed an infection in her stump and was quickly readmitted to Great Ormond Street. She developed an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and developed seizures so had to be admitted to intensive care.
Angel, from Iwade, is now recovering and currently undergoing a limb fitting for her new leg. She has returned to school and soon hopes to restart gymnastics. The judging panel said her bravery and resilience and her ability to work hard, dealing with her disabilities with a positive attitude and a smile on her face is the reason why she won this award.
Triumph Over Adversity, children aged 6-16
Harrison Guinan from Broadstairs has Pseudoachondroplasia, a form of dwarfism which results in short stature and considerable levels of pain.
He has undergone numerous procedures and operations which have left him with with extreme levels of anxiety, OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder. The awards reception was told he now awaits further surgery and is receiving intense counselling to prepare him for the time ahead while currently making weekly seven-hour round trips to London, missing vital education as a result.
But despite all he endures and the extreme levels of pain Harrison experiences, judges were told he remains confident, kind, strong and has an amazing sense of humour.
Triumph Over Adversity
Lucy was born with a unique genetic condition which meant no one could tell her parents what her future looked like apart from being severely disabled.
She was born with hip dysplasia and had to wear a harness for 6-12 weeks, 24 hours a day and when this didn’t work, she had surgery to fix her hip - her left leg was broken and reset and she wore a full body cast for three months. At two she had open heart surgery to fix the hole in her heart and later that year another operation to fix her tear ducts.
She then developed a life threatening form of epilepsy which resulted in many ambulance trips to hospital and despite being non-verbal, she is now learning to use pictures to communicate.
She cannot walk unaided but through years of intensive physiotherapy can now walk between parallel bars.
Her parents explain: “Lucy attends the wonderful St Nicholas Special School in Canterbury and is a popular pupil there.
"Last year she won the Move championship cup for effort and we burst into tears in the ceremony with pride. Our daughter is exceptionally brave, one of life’s true tryers and her smile lights up the room. She is an inspiration to so many people and brightens their day.”
Brave and Courageous
Harvey Parsloe, aged only four, undertook an enormous act of bravery when his mum collapsed at home earlier in the year.
The Chatham youngster, who was at home with his one-year-old brother at the time, used Siri on his mum’s mobile phone to call his dad as wells as an ambulance for his mum. Harvey managed to tell the emergency services the postcode and what was happening.
Judges were told he was brave and helpful, especially when considering his battle with ADHD. Alongside his Children's Award, Harvey has also been given an accolade from the ambulance service for his actions.
Exceptional Young Carer
Ethan is the eldest of four children that live in Minster, Sheppey, with their mum who is a single parent.
Ethan helps with the other three children, two of whom are disabled and when his mum has to care for them during illness or operations, judges were told he would take care of his other siblings.
The awards heard that growing-up with two young disabled brothers has been very hard on Ethan as the others often require so much more attention, but despite this he is growing into a fantastic young man and doing exceptionally well at school.
His mum added: “I feel he deserves to be recognised for all the things he has done over the years and the ways he has helped care for our family. I hope he realises how much he is loved and how thankful we are for him.”
Exceptional Young Carer
Abigail's mother and stepfather both suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and are both wheelchair-bound. Judges were told Abigail, from Wateringbury, near Maidstone, always steps in to provide care should an appointed carer not turn up, is an excellent cook, has had to change schools which has caused a lot of disruption, and isn't able to enjoy much of a social life outside of school.
But despite all this audiences heard that Abigail, 13, continues to cope with school work, the pressures at home and is a 'truly exceptional young girl' who gets on with life despite what is thrown at her.
Emily Brown, six, from Maidstone was inspired to act after after seeing something about a little girl with leukaemia. She decided to raise money for the Children with Cancer charity through a cake sale at school. She arranged the event with her headteacher, spent time baking and packaging the cakes with her parents and on the day set-up and sold her treats to pupils and parents.
She did the same at her dad’s cricket club and the pub where her mum works and in total she has raised over £600.
Going for Gold
William from Birchington was born with Cerebral Palsy and was told by doctors he may never walk, but he has defied them to become a sporting champion - playing frame football for Kings Hill Football Club and taking part in cross country events.
The audience was told that his mum believes he is a future Paralympian because of his exceptional willingness to play any sport with total commitment.
The Barr family from Deal
Ellice Bar, six, has Diplegic Cerebral Palsy which causes messages from the brain to the muscles to be abnormal and as a result can't walk without assistance and uses a frame or wheelchair when she is tired.
The surgery Ellice needed to improve her walking and range of motion and mobility cost £65,000. The family was not deterred by such an enormous fundraising task and launched a campaign - appealing to their local community to help. Within seven months they had reached their target of £65,000 with parents Joe and Amy, attending every event personally to say thank you with brother Jay, eight, never once complaining about all the focus and attention his sister was receiving.
The Sharp/Hammond family from Leeds, near Maidstone
Mum Caroline Sharp was diagnosed with cervical cancer, had to have a hysterectomy a month later and endured rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy last year. At the same time the family's eldest son was diagnosed with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, an extreme skin condition.
During a holiday last year tragedy struck again when a mass was found in their youngest son's abdomen and the family returned home immediately to be told the devastating news he had cancer too. His treatment has included 77 days in hospital, intensive care treatment and intensive chemotherapy and physiotherapy - all of which the family managed alongside weekly trips to hospital for their older child.
Recently he has undergone surgery to remove his tumour, pancreas, spleen and part of his stomach and has even been given a new portal vein and new artery to his liver.
The entire family, audiences were told, have shows so much determination and bravery.
In their own words, “We take our lead from the determination of our boys. We are all still here, our journey isn’t over yet but I know we can make it out the other side and cope with whatever lies ahead.”
Step and Learn, Strood
Step and Learn is a charity dedicated to assisting the physical and educational needs of children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders.
Described as an 'amazing charity' the organisation works with families to help children maintain their mobility, reach milestones, achieve challenges and become as independent as they can be.
The audience was told that in one nomination someone had written: "My daughter has many disabilities and I was feeling useless until I discovered Step and Learn.
"They literally helped us as a family so much. They showed me a different way to help my little girl and she has improved so much. We are forever grateful for what this charity has done for our little girl and our family.”
More by this authorLauren Abbott