Tags: boy | dies | santa | arms

Boy Dies in Santa's Arms as Santa Promises Safe Passage for 'No. 1 Elf'

(Video via Knoxville News Sentinel)

By    |   Monday, 12 Dec 2016 05:14 PM

Eric Schmitt-Matzen had a very difficult gig as Santa recently when he was asked to visit a terminally ill boy, who then died in his arms.

Schmitt-Matzen, who has a Santa-like belly and white bears, told the Knoxville News Sentinel he got a call from a nurse who said a very sick boy wanted to see Santa. He hurried to the hospital in half his gear and carried in a toy that the boy’s mom wanted Santa to give him.

He told the boy he couldn’t miss Christmas because he was Santa’s number one elf, and gave the boy the gift. He smiled as he weakly opened it, Schmitt-Matzen told the paper, then laid back down.

The boy told Santa he was dying, then asked, “How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?”

Schmitt-Matzen told the boy, “When you get there, you tell ‘em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in,” the paper continued.

As the boy was hugging the Schmitt-Matzen, he asked, “Santa, can you help me?” and then died in his arms.

Schmitt-Matzen told the News Sentinel he cried so hard driving home that it was hard to see where he was going. The next day, he was still too despondent to visit his grandchildren with his wife, and she had to go by herself, the Sentinel reported. He even thought about not playing Santa anymore, he was so sad about what had happened.

A few weeks later, though, the former Army Ranger decided to do another gig, and the laughter of the children brought back his joy and resolve. He told the News Sentinel he realized the role he had to play, both for the children and himself.

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Eric Schmitt-Matzen had a very difficult gig as Santa recently when he was asked to visit a terminally ill boy, who then died in his arms.
boy, dies, santa, arms
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2016-14-12
Monday, 12 Dec 2016 05:14 PM
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