A four-year-old aspiring paralympic athlete is seeking a new leg support to use in his Bushey Heath home.

Rio Woolf, of Woodstock Road, was born without a tibia, knee or ankle joint due to a rare condition called Tibial Aplasia.

After having his leg amputated when he was 14 months old he was fitted for an NHS prosthetic leg.

However, due to its weight and restricting movements, a campaign was launched last year to raise money for a new leg for Rio.

On Christmas Eve his wish came true and he was given a blade - designed by Dorset Orthopaedic - which enabled him to run like his hero, paralympic gold medallist, Jonnie Peacock.

Rio’s mother, Juliette, 44, said: "Rio loves running, and since getting his blade he keeps asking when his next race is."

Mrs Woolf added: "He loves watching YouTube clips of the paralympics - especially videos of Jonnie Peacock, Oscar Pistorius and Richard Whitehead. He just watches them over and over again.

"He tells me ‘I’m going to be a paralympian when I grow up’. He is absolutely determined."

However, at Rio’s young age, he and his family still have a long and expensive road ahead of them.

Mrs Woolf said she thinks the cost of Rio staying mobile until he is an adult could be as much as £70,000.

Now, the reception pupil at Hartsbourne Primary School, of Hartsbourne Road, needs a special leg rest which allows him to sit back in his chair with his blade supported.

Without this leg support, Rio would have to perch on the edge of the chair, with his blade positioned outwards, possibly creating a health and safety hazard.

Watford Observer:

Abbots Langley charity, Demand, of Mallard Road, which designed bespoke equipment for disabled people, has worked closely with Rio and his family over the past few years - most recently engineering some custom made steps to help him get into the bath by himself.

Now Demand and Rio’s family are fundraising for a new leg rest for Rio to keep at home, as the other two that he has are needed at school for his classroom and the dining hall.

There is a long road ahead for Rio, his mother and his father, Trevor, 47, a bathroom design businessman. However, Mrs Woolf said she has seen a dramatic change in his attitude since watching last year’s Paralympics.

Mrs Woolf said that, prior to the London 2012 Paralympics, Rio was feeling very downhearted and, as he became very aware that he couldn’t keep up with his peers, he stopped participating in sport.

"The Paralympics gave him confidence as he saw people with special legs on TV - it’s so unusual to see other amputees around.

"I think he is a great ambassador for child amputees because he just doesn’t let anyone get in his way - he will tackle everything."

If you would like to donate to Rio’s leg support fund visit: http://www.justgiving.com/riowoolf and for more information about Rio visit: www.Run-Rio-Run.co.uk