The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
20°C | 13°C
20°C | 12°C
23°C | 12°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Canterbury News Article
Pirates of the Caribbean actor Winston Ellis made a surprise visit to Whitstable today to meet dying Reece Puddington after the youngster made a final wish to speak to his co-star Johnny Depp.
The British actor who has appeared in all three pirate films and The Dark Knight knocked on Reece’s door in Freemans Close to spend an hour with the 11-year-old who is suffering from terminal cancer.
He drove down from London with Jayne Bond from charity Sports Connections Foundations who helped arrange the visit after reading Reece’s story online.
Winston said: “When I read the story it touched my heart and I felt to myself I had to come down and meet this young man.
“He’s a very brave young man, although I know he wanted to meet Johnny I’d travel double the distance to come meet him.
“I’ve got children of my own and seeing how everyone has bought so many beautiful things for me.
“Words can’t describe it for me it has been an honour and a pleasure to be invited by the family.”
The brave 11-year-old has gained a global following throughout his six-year battle against neuroblastoma.
He suffered a second relapse last year when doctors diagnosed him with a liver tumour.
He published a bucket list on his Facebook page which included meeting Mr Depp, a holiday to South Africa and his own bedroom among his final wishes.
Generous well-wishers flooded Reece’s family with donations to tick off his list including a hobbit house in the back garden built by artist Jason Onion.
Reece later told supporters on his Facebook page he had opted against more treatment to prolong his life by saying his family has decided to “let him go.”
His mum Kay says Reece was delighted with the chance to meet a character from his favourite film.
She said: “It was a lovely surprise, it’s not something you get to see every day and I knew it make Reece’s day.
“His favourite movies are the Pirates of the Carribbean series so he watches them over and over obviously he was aware of Winston’s character.
“It’s been very humbling and overwhelming. We never thought we’d get the response we did so for people to have taken the time to get involved we can’t thank them enough.”
Reece also set up Reece’s Retreat last month to offer seriously ill children a day by the sea by raising money to buy a beach hut along West Beach.
Click here for more news from Canterbury.
Click here for more news from around the county.