Earlier this week, Carolynne Hunter, 49, from Tillicoultry, Scotland, launched a GoFundMe page to help her raise £20,000 to pay the running costs of equipment that keeps her 12-year-old daughter, Freya, alive.
Freya suffers from a number of complex health issues and disabilities that have rendered her blind and unable to speak. As a result, she requires full-time oxygen and at-home nursing care.
Over the weekend, Hunter noticed that she had received a donation of £17,000 marked from “Kate Winslet and family” that was later confirmed as being from the actor herself.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Monday, Hunter explained what happened, revealing she received a message from a friend shortly after taking Freya to school.
“When she phoned me, she told me that Kate Winslet had paid Freya’s bill. I’m still in shock,” the mother-of-four said.
“I’d spoken to GoFundMe on Tuesday and they’d advised me to set up a page as a high-profile person wanted to donate money to pay for the bill,” she explained.
“I hadn’t intended to raise money for the bill, it was more I was doing a lot of campaigning to push the government to do the right thing by anybody who’s in a similar situation.
“Freya has a high level medical need, she’s completely immobile, she has a very compromised airwave so she needs oxygen all the time, 24/7 nursing care at home, she needs to have a lot of intervention to prevent airway blocks, so she has a huge amount of medical needs. We can’t live without energy.”
Hunter explained that amid rising costs, the prospect of keeping her daughter alive was becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to manage.
“Historically because I’m a high energy user me and my daughter don’t heat the house... we don’t have the heating on in the winter,” Hunter added.
“It’s a miserable life. I work from home as well, I’m cold, I have to have blankets around me when I’m working, it’s very difficult.”
Regarding Winslet, Hunter explained that she had been in touch with the actor since noticing the donation.
“We’ve spoken, it’s been really nice,” she said. “We’ve had quite a few conversations. She’s lovely, wonderful.”