A 10-year-old amputee who had his prosthetic legs customised with the face of his 'hero' Eminem on them was stunned to be contacted by the American rapper - who spotted a photo of the youngster's unique tribute on Twitter.

Teejay Stainer was told he might never walk when he was born without a calf bone in his right leg and credits the lyrics of hip hop star Eminem, also known as Slim Shady, for making him feel 'brave' enough to defy expectations.

He has been a fan of the rapper since he was two, when his parents Georgina and Richard Stainer would play it to help him sleep.

Now Teejay, who had his lower right leg amputated when he was 14 months old, is not only standing, but also walking, climbing trees and even playing basketball with the help of his bespoke prosthetics.

His proud parents used Facebook to upload a photo of Teejay holding up a sign, which read: 'These are my Eminem legs I've had made. My wish is for Eminem to see them.'

The image was shared more than 20,000 times across social networks as strangers around the world tried to help make his dream come true.

And the year six school boy was 'amazed' when a postal package arrived at his home in Andover,  featuring a copy of Eminem's 'Recovery' album, which had been sent and personally signed by his favourite rapper.

The 42-year-old star, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, wrote: 'To Teejay, I saw your pic and read your message! Thanks for the support!'

Brave Teejay, whose favourite songs by the rapper include 'Survival' and 'Guts over Fear', said: "I was amazed when I saw the CD.

"I just wanted to thank him for getting me through the difficult times and show him how dedicated I am.

"I think he sent me that album in particular because of the recovery that I've made."

Full time mother of three Georgina, 28, said: "His father and I are both hip hop fans, so he's been listening to Eminem nearly all his life.

"We have always taught him to listen to the lyrics and their meanings and as Eminem raps about surviving difficult times, it makes him feel brave.

Daily Echo:

"We agreed to upload the photo as never complains and we felt he deserved some recognition for everything he's achieved.

"We warned him Eminem might never see it as we didn't want him to be disappointed, but we were amazed by the reaction."

She added: "He was so excited when we received the package, but he waited to open it until his dad got home from work.

"He was over the moon to read Eminem's message - it means the world to him."

Teejay was born at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, in 2005, when Mr Stainer noticed his son was missing two toes.

He was referred to Southampton General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia - a disorder characterised by a shortened or absent calf bone (fibular).

Teejay's right leg was missing the bone and his ankle had grown into the side of his foot, which was also deformed.

He was initially given bespoke shoes with specially designed platforms to account for the different lengths of his legs.

But there were still risks associated with his growth, so his parents were later faced with a difficult decision over Teejay's future.

Mrs Stainer, who is also mother to Kacee, seven, and Ella, two, said: "We were told surgeons could either amputate or operate to correct his foot.

"But his legs would never grow at the same rate, so he would still require regular, quite major, operations to lengthen his shorter leg.

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"So we were recommended to go for an amputation just above the ankle, because it would give him a longer stump for prosthetics to work with."

Teejay was just 14 months old when he had his lower right leg amputated in October 2006.

He was fitted for a prosthetics at Portsmouth Enablement Centre in Portsmouth, and quickly adapted to his new limb.

He has since defied expectations by learning to walk, run, climb and even play sports in his prosthesis.

Mrs Stainer said: "He's so determined and if anyone tells him he can't do something, he sets his sights on proving them wrong.

"They said he might never walk, now he sports, climbs trees and runs around like any 10-year-old boy."

Teejay has been listening to Eminem since he was toddler and has turned to the rapper as he's got older to make him feel 'brave'.

Forming operative Mr Stainer, 30, said: "I'm extremely passionate about music and I think that's rubbed off on him.

"Eminem is someone that has come from nothing and made something of himself, so he's a hero for Teejay.

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"While there are swear words in the songs, Teejay likes the tracks because of their meanings and we've never heard him swear."

Last year the prosthetics centre, which is part of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, offered the family the chance to customise Teejay's legs with prints from his favourite t-shirts.

Mrs Stainer said: "We used some Eninem tops we got from his concert and Teejay loves them. His little sister even asked for some!"

Then in July, Teejay had surgery to correct the growth of the bone in his shortened leg and his parents shared his photo online to give him a boost.

And Teejay's dream came true when he received a signed album from Eminem.

Mrs Stainer said: "I've had so many lovely messages from all across the world, saying that Teejay is an inspiration.

"He's living proof that no matter what life throws at you, you can get through it."

The limbs are made by Steeper Prosthetics' Stephen Cox, who laminates the t-shirt onto the prosthesis after moulding it to Teejay's other leg.

He said: "There's no hiding a prosthetic limb so customising them is a great way to make them more interesting and less taboo.

"We get a lot of requests for football shirts on limbs, but the Eminem t-shirt is definitely one of the most interesting ones we've done."