Love Island contestant Hugo Hammond’s clubfoot condition explained

Love Island is back for another eight weeks of summer madness as we watch the hopeful singletons find their match.

The first 11 contestants to enter the villa have been confirmed including water engineer Jake Cornish, Lettings Manager Faye Winter and semi-pro footballer Toby Aromolaran.

Joining the Islanders will also be the shows first ever disabled contestant, Hugo Hammond.

Hugo, 24 was born with a clubfoot and has undergone multiple surgeries throughout his childhood to correct it.

Explaining his disability Hugo said: “I had lots of operations when I was a kid. You can only really tell when I walk barefoot. I’ve got a really short Achilles heel. I walk slightly on my tiptoes."

Being a PE teacher and former cricketer for England's PD (Physical Disability) team, Hugo’s disability hasn’t stopped him from loving all the sports he teaches, saying he “absolutely loves his job”.

Hugo is also a keen traveller, and has visited Bangladesh, Dubai and has “been everywhere to play cricket”.

What is clubfoot?

Clubfoot also known as talipes, is a condition where a baby is born with one or both feet turned in and under, explains the NHS.

It happens when the Achilles tendon (the large tendon at the back of the ankle) is too short.

This can affect one foot or both feet and is treated from a young age, usually starting within one to two weeks of the baby being born.

Treatment for club foot consists of the Ponseti method, the NHS explains “this involves gently manipulating and stretching the baby’s foot in a better position” and holding it in place in a cast.

This procedure is related every week for about five to eight weeks to help correct the foot’s positioning.

Once the cast comes off “most babies need a minor operation to loosen the Achilles tendon at the back of their ankle” helping to release their foot into a natural position.

After the operation, the baby will wear special boots for the first three months to stop the feet from returning to the clubfoot position.

They will then wear this overnight until they’re about four or five years old.

Clubfoot affects around one in 1,000 babies born in the UK, half of these have both feet affected, with it also being more common in boys.

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Diagnosing a clubfoot is usually done at birth but can be picked up during a routine ultrasound scan between 18 and 21 weeks.

People who have one clubfoot affected may have one leg slightly shorter than the other and a smaller foot.

This year ITV have put new protocols in place for the contestants regarding concerns over ex-islanders mental health and welfare.

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Some new measures also include mandatory therapy sessions, social media training and financial advice for the Islanders. Training will also include how to handle online trolls following past islanders experiences.

Ex-islander Dr Alex George who appeared on the show in 2018 is the Governments’ youth mental health ambassador and also helped put the new plan in place.

Love Island will be returning Monday, June 28 at 9pm. Available to watch on ITV2 or ITV hub.

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