Santa makes hospital calls, too - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Santa makes hospital calls, too

December 23, 2003

Albany- For a parent, the thrill of seeing your child's excitement Christmas morning might be the best present of all. This holiday, though, some families won't be together, but Santa has not forgotten them.

There's no chimney for Santa to go down, but at Phoebe Putney Hospital's Pediatric Unit, Santa doesn't need a grand entrance. His first visit is to six-year-old Andrew Bishop. "Oh it's real all right..." he says.

Andrew wants to make sure Santa is the real deal. The young boy just had surgery this morning, but he'll be going home soon. "Hopefully tomorrow morning, he like to go home now," laughs Linda Shelly.

His mom Linda knows how lucky she is to have her son home for Christmas. "But my heart goes out to the other parents and other families and stuff, yeah."

Santa's next stop isn't so lucky. Four-month-old Jerrone is very sick with pneumonia. His mother is not leaving his side this Christmas. "It's not really going to be a celebration because my other kids are not going to have me at home with them, so I'm missing out with them so I can be with him," says Jerrone's Mom Vonkeeter Wilcox.

Santa's sleigh, or in this case wheelbarrow, is full of toys for the youngest patients at Phoebe, bringing a little Christmas spirit where there wasn't much before.

The Children's Miracle Network sponsored the event, the toys were purchased with money donated by Merck and Proctor and Gamble. All 150 toys were bought at a discounted price from Avon.

posted at 3:30PM by dave.miller@walb.com