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Hollywood star Brad Pitt helps baby unit at Southampton General Hospital
5:35pm Monday 26th November 2012 in Entertainments
A MUM who is raising money for Southampton's neo natal unit that treated her baby son has been boosted by a huge cash donation – from Hollywood star Brad Pitt.
Karley Gallagher’s little boy Zachary was born with gastroschisis, a type of hernia that causes the intestines to stick out of the body through a defect near the umbilical cord and the same illness which Saints striker Billy Sharp - now on loan at Nottingham Forest - campaigns to raise awareness of, after his baby son died last year.
Zachary spent his first weeks in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital.
At the weekend Karley organised a fundraising event at Lulworth, Dorset, where she lives.
But on the same day, Pitt was filming his latest movie in the village.
Worried that his presence might detract from the charity day, owner of the Gift Shop cafe, Tricia Wilson-Hughes had a word with two of the star’s security guards.
Later they came back with an envelope full of money – more than £700 of it. “I was totally gobsmacked,” said Tricia.
“I just couldn’t believe it. They were just so generous. I thought they were going to give me £50 or something.”
She added: “Brad also signed some postcards for us to sell for the fund.
He also promised to order a whip round of the film crew and send a donation from Los Angeles. It’s amazing.”
Tricia phoned Karley, who came running down to the shop.
Karley said: “I was grinning from ear to ear. I think she was in shock. What he did for us was incredible.”
She added that Zach’s middle name was Benjamin – after the film Benjamin Button, which starred Pitt.
Zachary, Karley’s only child, weighed 5lb 4ozs when he was born.
“He was born at 36 weeks, then he was kept in intensive care for nine weeks.
“We nearly lost him numerous times. Without the neonatal team he would have died. We wanted to help them.”
The filming at Lulworth by High Command Productions was for Pitt’s latest movie called World War Z.
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