A SCHOOLGIRL has brought festive joy to her village by hand-delivering more than 1,000 Christmas cards, despite having lost a leg.
Angel Farley (above) has written and delivered 1,064 greeting cards so far this year in her mission to put a smile on 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, 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 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 knee to improve her mobility.
Holly explained: ‘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.’
The amputation at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital initially seemed to have gone well, but Angel had an infection 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.
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 pair have delivered more than ten times the number of cards they handed out in 2017.
Angel and her family, from Iwade, Kent, have spent about 60 hours filling out 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 had messages from parents whose children were autistic and would appreciate a card because they were often ignored over Christmas.
Holly said: ‘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 had been flooded with messages of thanks and support 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.’