Anger of double amputee Tony Hudgell's family over five-hour airport wait for wheelchair

Young Tony was left to sit on the carousel to wait for his wheelchair Credit: @paula_hudgell/Twitter

A young boy who lost both legs as a baby through horrific abuse by his birth mother was left stranded at Gatwick airport for hours without his wheelchair.

Tony Hudgell was returning from a four-day trip to Lapland when his wheelchair was left on the aircraft.

So the eight-year-old had to wait for about five hours for the specially-adapted wheelchair to be tracked down - only to find when it was finally returned to him and his waiting adoptive parents Paula and Mark Hudgell it was damaged.

Paula said in a tweet to Jet2: "Appalled with @jet2tweets. Have been stranded for 3 hrs now with no wheelchair as its still on the plane. 3am no help. Double amputee no legs as his wheelchair is his legs. Trying to get help or assistance and nothing."

One of the social media team from Jet2 responded: "I am incredibly sorry to hear of your experience, we are currently trying to contact our team at LGW and we will look into fixing this for you."

However, Tony's mum Paula responded at 6am: "Sorted now but 5 hours too late as far as a wheelchair user needs ignored. Assistance was booked in advance.

"Should have been sorted and when it did come out it was put on the conveyor belt and got twisted and bent. Full complaint on its way. Wheelchair cost us £6500 so cross."

Tony Hudgell with his adoptive mum, Paula and adoptive dad Mark Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Jet2Holidays has been asked for further comment.

Tony was left with numerous life-threatening and life-changing limb fractures, multiple organ failure and sepsis after violence at the hands of his birth parents.

His biological mother Jody Simpson and her boyfriend Anthony Smith were jailed for 10 years after abusing him when he was six weeks old.

Tony has been with Paula and Mark living in Kent since he was about four months old.

Child abusers in England and Wales could face life behind bars under plans for tougher sentences unveiled by the government.

The changes, dubbed Tony’s Law, are named after Tony Hudgell, who had both legs amputated in 2017 as a result of the abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.