Four-year-old amputee becomes the youngest person to scale 3,560 foot Mount Snowdon
[Dec 1, 2021: Fiona Jackson]
Four-year-old amputee Albie-Junior Thomas hiked through snow and wind to become the youngest person to scale Snowdon. (CREDIT: Daniel Thomas / SWNS)
While many of us were bunkered down and prayed our electricity stayed on during Storm Arwen, a young boy and his father were getting ready to set a world record.
Four-year-old amputee Albie-Junior Thomas, along with his father, 36-year-old Daniel, scaled 3,560ft to the peak of Snowdon on Sunday, November 28.
Albie-Junior had his left foot amputated when he was 15-months-old after he was born with a condition that made it deformed and his leg shorter.
He was fitted with a prosthetic at the age of two and has not let it hold him back since.
Choosing the harder Pyg track to the summit, Albie-Junior and his dad climbed to the summit and back in five hours, quicker than the average adult.
Daniel, from Holywell, said: "Whatever Albie wants to do, we will do it.
"I have huge plans for me and Albie - we're going to travel the world together and go trekking and running around the world.
"He's fitter and stronger than other boys his age. He shows them what to do.
"As long as Albie wants to go to the Paralympics, I am going to help him do it.
"He goes into his little zone - he kind of just walks so we were joking all the way up.
"When we walked up the Pyg track it dips down a little bit and he did say 'I thought there was supposed to be a big mountain!'"
Albie-Junior had his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old. (CREDIT: Daniel Thomas / SWNS)
Albie-Junior was born to his mother and father, Rachel Kyriki, 30, and Daniel with fibula hemimelia.
His parents were aware something was not quite right as it was picked up on his scan - but the doctors weren't able to tell them what until Albie-Junior was born.
The condition meant his left foot was deformed and his left leg measured at 5cm shorter than his right.
His parents were given the option of either amputating or extending his leg by pinning.
As the pinning would involve a length procedure they agreed to have his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old.
Albie-Junior getting ready for his challenge (CREDIT: Daniel Thomas / SWNS)
Daniel was helped to this conclusion after meeting a man at the gym who was an amputee and then went on to become a strongman.
He said this helped make decision to have his son's foot amputated "a lot easier" and "straightforward."
But he said that he had "never felt" the way he felt after Albie was put in his arms after the amputation surgery.
He said: "It crushed me inside. I felt so guilty, you're supposed to protect your child, and I felt like I was the one who'd taken his foot off.
"But immediately afterwards I thought, I have no right to feel pain, this is his thing.
"So I got it out of my system and I made a promise to him right then and there that I was going to get him to the Paralympics one day"
Daniel gave up his joinery company and decided to train to become a personal trainer, turning his joinery business into a gym and fitness centre with the aiming of helping Albie-Junior in the future.
Daniel said: "Running's his sport. He loves it. Me and him have that passion.
"He'll go in the back garden and train on his own."
After only taking up running in 2018, last year Daniel ran seven marathons in seven days, and Albie-Junior ran the first mile of each one with him.
Daniel, who is studying a health and fitness course at Chester University, said: "Running and Albie have completely changed my life.
"I'm growing as a person and learning more about myself, thanks to Albie."
The pair took on the challenge of hiking up and down Mount Snowdon in Gwynedd, which they completed in five hours 23 minutes, with a 20 minute stop at the summit.
They took the tough Pyg track to reach the peak which stands at 1,085m above sea level, and took the Llanberis track back down to complete the hike in under five hours.
Running coach Daniel said: "He said to his mum, 'I'm going to do it for you and for the family', that's just the kind of boy he is."
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