By Tim Saunders on
There is an unconfirmed report that actor Johnny Depp has made a huge donation to the children’s hospital that saved his daughter’s life.
Several of the world’s major news networks have reported that the star of over 40 movies has given $2.2 million to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, although the Charities Aid Foundation in England has reported the story as a hoax.
Depp’s 8-year-old daughter, Lily-Rose, was hospitalized in March after E. coli poisoning caused her kidneys to fail. Depp and his long-time partner, Vanessa Paradis, put their lives on hold during Lily-Rose’s 9 day illness, bringing the production of Depp’s new film, “Sweeney Todd”, to a standstill.
“To say it was the darkest moment, that’s nothing,” the 43-year-old actor told Entertainment Weekly. “It doesn’t come close to describing it. Words are so small.”
Depp also personally thanked Lily-Rose’s five doctors and nurses, and invited them to the premiere of “Sweeney Todd” in London last week.
The donation follows a surprise visit to the hospital on November 29, during which Depp spent four hours in character as Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow – he had the costume sent over specially from Los Angeles – reading bedtime stories to the young patients.
The Great Ormond Street Hospital specializes in the most complex, life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. It regularly treats 150,000 patients a year. However, the government funding for the facility often falls short of the hospital’s needs, and the children rely on public donations for their on-going treatment. Depp has openly praised the work the staff did to help his daughter and the many other children and families that are treated there.
“It was the most frightening thing we have ever been through,” he said. “It was hell. But the magic is that she pulled through beautifully. Great Ormond Street was terrific, a great hospital.”
Depp’s donation was followed by a pledge of $1.96 million from The Walt Disney Co. as part of a partnership to help the hospital raise $19.6 million for a redevelopment that will include a Disney-branded interactive zone for children and youths.
The relationship between Disney and Great Ormond Street dates to 1939, when Walt Disney acquired the animation rights to “Peter Pan” from the hospital. “Peter Pan” author J.M. Barrie gifted the hospital all rights to the story in 1929.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars