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Kiwi care package stuck

Alan Fielding with the bumper box of treats he organised as a gift for Tony Hudgell, 6, who lives in the United Kingdom. PHOTO/FILE

GRACE PRIOR
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A package sent from Wairarapa man Alan Fielding to a young boy, who has been raising money for Evelina London Children’s Hospital by walking laps aided by his crutches, is stuck in London due to covid-19.

Fielding had read about the case of Tony Hudgell a few years ago and was appalled, so decided to put together a package to send to him for a bit of joy.

Hudgell is a British boy from Kent who had a double leg amputation in 2017 after severe abuse from his parents, both imprisoned.

Hudgell’s mother Paula said in a report that at five weeks old, he had had all his limbs broken, dislocations of his ankle, his toes, his thumbs, multiple fractures – and he had been left without medical attention for up to 10 days – by that time, his poor little body had just given up.

Hudgell turned six just before Christmas, and had been inspired by the work of World War II veteran Captain Tom Moore, who raised more than $65 million for National Health Service charities in Britain, by walking around his home during lockdown.

Hudgell had also been walking, with the aid of his crutches, to raise money for Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

By the end of last year, he had raised $3m.

Hudgell had been developing quite an interest in military history, after his conversations with Captain Moore.

Fielding has also experienced what he calls “diffability” in his life, with his son passing at 27 of spina bifida.

“Diffability” has been a term that Fielding has been using for a quarter of a decade, something he uses instead of “disability.”

He said it highlighted that people with these complications were different, but not lacking anything.

Fielding had hoped that the package would arrive with Hudgell for his sixth birthday, but due to covid-19, it hadn’t made it.

Fielding also hoped for Christmas or New Year’s, but to no avail.

He said he had received a phone call from the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom, and they mentioned they were having a “big problem with covid-19”.

“I joked to them about the Royal Air Force parachuting the package in to him.

“This end of it all was smooth, but I didn’t realise that the situation in the UK would be so bad.”

Fielding said that the package was now in the hands of a New Zealand military attache nicknamed “Lofty” due to his six-foot-nine height.

The package, which contains books and military memorabilia, is now waiting to be delivered by forces, providing it is safe to do so with covid-19.

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