I don’t even know how I’m going to tell this story without blubbering. Holy moly. Grab a handkerchief and find someone who gives good hugs – you’re going to need one.
Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a mall Santa in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area, was working at his day job as a mechanical engineer in Jacksboro when he received a call from a nearby hospital.
“[A nurse] said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus,” Schmitt-Matzen told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “I told her, ‘OK, just let me change into my outfit.’” She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’”
When Schmitt-Matzen got to the hospital, he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit where he met the boy’s family and was given a toy to give to him.
Schmitt-Matzen also gave the boy a pep talk.
“I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!
“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’
“I said, ‘Sure!’”
Schmitt-Matzen said the boy then asked him point blank: “They say I’m gonna die. How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?”
The kindly Kris Kringle figure told the boy to just tell everyone “you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.”
Schmitt-Matzen then hugged the boy as the child died in his arms.
Are you crying yet? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Via The Huffington Post:
The experience was emotionally draining for Schmitt-Matzen, who admits he thought about hanging up his Santa suit for good.
He has since changed his mind after doing what he thought was one final show, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
“When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play,” he said. “For them and for me.”
The story has gone viral, touching people around the world.
God bless you
Eric Schmitt-Matzen pic.twitter.com/1QH5uyAxP0
— Crystal (@WingsofCrystal) December 12, 2016