More than £400,000 has been raised this week to help a teen motorsport prodigy “beat life changing injuries” following a horrific crash on Sunday that resulted in him having both legs amputated.
Formula 4 driver Billy Monger remains in an induced coma after crashing into a fellow racer at Donington Park, Derbyshire, in what has been described as “one of the most horrific crashes motorsport has ever seen”.
The 17-year-old was reportedly trapped in his vehicle for more than 90 minutes following the high-speed smash, which happened during round six of the British Formula 4 Championship.
As of Thursday morning, £404,603 had been raised via a JustGiving page to help Billy, a sum no doubt helped by messages of support the teen has received from Formula One stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Button wrote on his Instagram page on Wednesday: “Hey guys, this fellow racer Billy Monger had a big shunt this past weekend at Donington and sadly Billy has had amputations to both legs.
“This guy needs our help so, if you can please donate, I will be doing as much as I can to help this dude out.
“The donations will be used to fund the care, treatments and therapies required by Billy in the immediate future and going forward, helping him to return to a full and active life. Info is on my bio.”
Hamilton tweeted: “Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, @BillyMonger.”
Billy is in a critical but stable condition at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, according to a statement by Formula 4, and is expected to be woken during the next few days.
It added: “The medical team there are pleased that all Billy’s vital signs are showing progress and going in the right direction.
“Due to the injuries sustained and despite every effort, Billy has sadly had both lower legs amputated.”
The racing body said Billy’s family were buoyed by the many messages of support they had received since the accident, which will “help give the great strength needed for the recovery process that lies ahead”.
Writing on the JustGiving page, Billy’s family and racing team, described him as “not only an extremely talented young driver but for also being a truly special 17 year old - loved and admired by his team, fellow competitors, supporters and of course his devoted family”.
It continued: “Billy is a complete one off, a cracking young man with a spark that makes it impossible for anyone not to like him. Full of spirit, Billy is one of those people that instantly lights up a room. His positive, plucky outlook on life is not only hugely endearing but also incredibly inspirational and it’s phenomenal to see how respected and loved Billy is.
“Having always been a fighter Billy has already overcome big hurdles in his career - struggling for budget Billy has fought his way into top flight Motorsport, however, we now need your kindness and support to help give Billy and his family the best chance to fight these injuries that will affect Billy’s life so massively.”
The family said it was in the process of forming a Trust to “hold, manage and expend funds” raised for Billy.
“Donations will be used to fund the care, treatments and therapies required by Billy in the immediate future and going forward, helping him to return to a full and active life.”
Billy, who refers to himself on Twitter as Billywhizz, writes on his website that he has been crowned British Champion twice but “for 2017 it’s my time to become the British F4 Champion”.