Four-year-old amputee becomes the youngest to climb Snowdon

A four-year-old amputee hiked through snow and wind to become the youngest to scale Snowdon.

Albie-Junior Thomas had his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old after he was born with a condition which made it deformed and his leg shorter.

But it hasn't stopped him - and he's been charging around on his prosthetic since he was two, with dreams of one day competing in the Paralympics.

And on Sunday - in the wake of Storm Arwen - he scaled 3,560ft to the peak of highest mountain in Wales on Sunday.

Accompanied by dad Daniel, 36, the little lad chose the harder Pyg track to the summit, and made it up and down in less than five hours - beating the average adult.

It is believed he is the youngest amputee to complete the climb.

Albie-Junior Thomas had his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old.
Albie-Junior Thomas had his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old.

Daniel, from Holywell, Wales, 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 was born on December 3 2016 with fibula hemimelia, meaning his left foot was deformed and his left leg was 5cm shorter than his right.

His parents knew that there was something not quite right as it was picked up on the scan - but the doctors weren't able to tell them until Albie was born.

Daniel and mum Rachel Kyrki, 30, were given the option of either amputating or extending his leg by pinning.

Albie-Junior Thomas and his father Daniel Thomas climbing Snowdon.
Albie-Junior Thomas and his father Daniel Thomas climbing Snowdon.

As the latter would involve a lengthy procedure, the parents agreed to have his left foot amputated when he was 15 months old.

When making up his mind about what to do, Daniel met a man at the gym who was an amputee and went on to become a strongman.

This made the decision to have Albie's foot amputated "a lot easier" and "straightforward" for the dad.

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 become a personal trainer.

He enrolled in college courses and turned his joinery business into a gym and fitness centre, all to help his son with his sporting goals.

Meanwhile, little Albie picked up walking as an amputee really quickly, and was striding around on his prosthetic leg by the time he was two.

He even recently met Prince Charles at their church and told him of his Paralympic dreams, to which the royal wished him the best of luck.

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 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, Wales 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."

But it's by no means the end of their physical challenges, as the tot and his dad plan on taking on the three peaks challenge next.