Have you ever wondered about the joy and fulfillment that playing Santa brings during the festive season? While it may not be an easy role, bringing smiles to children’s faces and creating a sense of magic in their lives must be incredibly rewarding. However, for Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who plays Santa every year, one particular experience was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.
In 2016, Eric received an urgent call from a hospital in Tennessee. A nurse explained that a terminally ill five-year-old boy had a final wish: to meet Santa Claus. Without hesitation, Eric rushed to the hospital, where he met the boy’s mother and received a Paw Patrol figurine, the gift her son had desired for Christmas.
Wanting to ensure privacy for the family, Eric asked them to wait outside while he met the little boy. He entered the ICU and sat at the end of the boy’s bed. With compassion, he asked, “What’s this I hear about you missing Christmas this year?”
The boy, aware of his condition, asked a poignant question, “How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?” Eric responded with comforting words, encouraging the boy to identify himself as Santa’s Number One elf at the Pearly Gates, assuring him that he would be welcomed.
As the boy opened his gift, he embraced Eric in a tight hug. It was during this embrace that the boy passed away in Santa’s arms. Overwhelmed with emotion, Eric couldn’t help but cry as he left the room.
Eric’s experience left him questioning whether he could continue being Santa Claus. However, when he attended another event the following day, he rediscovered the love, laughter, and joy that the children brought into his life. It reminded him of why he had taken on the mantle in the first place.
The impact of Eric’s heartwarming story reached far and wide, garnering viral fame. Yet, unfortunately, doubts about the credibility of his account arose, leaving him hurt and feeling as if he had been used. Despite the challenges, Eric stood by his story and his intentions to protect the family’s identity.
This heartwarming tale of Santa’s final gift to a terminally ill boy touched many hearts, myself included. If you were moved by Eric’s gesture, share your thoughts in the comments below.
Watch this touching video: