Zoe Saldana Elated by Renaming of Hospital Unit in Anton Yelchin Honor
Zoe Saldana has paid a sweet tribute to her late friend Anton Yelchin online after attending the renaming of a Los Angeles hospital unit in his honour.
The actor had been receiving treatment for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder which largely affects the lungs, at the University of Southern California’s Keck Hospital for 10 years before he was killed in a freak car accident in 2016.
His parents Irina and Victor, the co-founders of the Anton Yelchin Foundation, have since decided to donate $1 million (£780,000) to the facility to celebrate the 27-year-old’s legacy, and on Wednesday, October 24, they were on hand for a special unveiling ceremony.
Anton’s “Star Trek” co-star Zoe was among the guests to join his mum and dad at the medical centre for the official opening of the Anton Yelchin Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, and she later documented the emotional moment online by sharing a snap of the unit’s new name on Instagram.
“Congratulations,” she wrote in the caption. “The Anton Yelchin Cystic Fibrosis Clinic was unveiled at the USC Keck Hospital yesterday. Was an honor to take part- thank you @antonyelchinfoundation.”
“We miss you Anton,” she added. “Elated to see your legacy continue.”
During the unveiling ceremony, Anton’s parents heaped praise on staffmembers at the facility for caring for their son and helping him cope with the condition.
“The staff at the cystic fibrosis clinic was like a family to Anton,” Irina shared. “He worked hard and was dedicated to living a healthy life. When he needed assistance, they were always there for him.”
The actor’s dad added, “Anton had a generous spirit. This gift not only reflects our gratitude to the clinic but also Anton’s dedication to helping others.”
The donation news emerges seven months after the Yelchins reached a confidential legal settlement with car manufacturers at Fiat Chrysler over an allegedly faulty gear shift, which they blamed for the tragedy.
Authorities ruled Yelchin had accidentally put his SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) in neutral as he stepped out to retrieve some mail at his Los Angeles home in June 2016, and he was pinned against a security gate when the vehicle rolled down a steep driveway.
His Jeep model had actually been recalled so mechanics could fix the faulty shift at the time of the accident, and although Fiat Chrysler bosses insisted the incident was Anton’s fault, they subsequently agreed to settle with the family.
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