A disabled schoolgirl has brought festive joy to her home village by hand-delivering more than 1000 Christmas cards – despite only having one leg.
Angel Farley has written and delivered 1064 greetings cards so far this year in her mission to put a smile on people’s faces at Christmas.
The brave 11-year-old was born without a femur and hip socket meaning her lower leg was attached directly to her hip until an operation last year to remove the limb.
Despite her limited mobility, the thoughtful youngster decided to start sending Christmas cards to lonely people in her village two years ago.
The idea was born when the schoolgirl asked her mum who else she could send cards to apart from her classmates.
Mum-of-four Holly Farley, 27, said: “It just got me thinking. I spoke with Angel about the idea of asking on Facebook if anyone would like a card from her.
“That’s when she told me that she thinks it would be nice to send cards to other people with disabilities and other people who might be forgotten at Christmas.
“It just went from there.”
But in February last year, Angel and her parents decided to have her right leg amputated above the leg to improve her mobility.
Holly added: “She used to do what we called a ‘pirate walk.’ She had to swing her leg out sideways which made her hip swing and caused her spine to curve.
“She wore a prosthetic leg as well, but it had to be straight because it was attached to her foot and ankle, which of course, bends.”
The amputation at Great Ormond Street Hospital initially seemed to have gone well, but her leg became extremely infected, and was hospitalised for two months while battling sepsis.
Holly said: “It was a really hard time for us. I asked doctors whether she was going to survive and they couldn’t give me a straight answer.”
Angel has since made a strong recovery and thanks to a new prosthetic leg, is able to move much more freely than before.
Holly added: “During her recovery, people in the village we had never met donated money for Angel.
“It was a real eye opener. We felt like we needed to do something to show our appreciation so decided to expand the card giving.”
The mother and daughter duo have delivered more than a thousand cards, more than ten times the total they delivered in 2017.
Angel and her family, of Iwade, Kent, have spent about 60 hours filling out all of the cards by hand since they began in early November.
The message inside reads: “From our house to yours. Happy Christmas. Love from Angel and Family.”
Angel’s dad, Rob, said: “We don’t want it to become a chore, so we only do it when the girls want to.
“Angel and her nine-year-old sister Mikayla sit at a little table and fill them in, bless them.”
Last year Angel and her mum received private messages from some parents whose children were autistic and would appreciate a card because they are often ignored over Christmas.
Holly added: “It’s all about making people smile at Christmas. We go around the village as a family most evenings.
“Sometimes Angel finds it difficult to access properties because of her disability, but she does her best.”
Holly said her daughter has been flooded with messages of thanks and support from people on Facebook.
She added: “After what we went through last year we feel so lucky to have Angel with us.
“We are so happy to be able to give something back to the people in the village. It’s a really special community.”
Anyone who would like a card is welcome to request one, including children, friends, care home residents, or anybody who may be lonely at this time of year.
Those would would like a card are urged to request one before the Royal Mail’s second-class cut-off point on Wednesday December 20.