SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It’s only the first week of December, but Christmas came right on time Thursday at Dwayne and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital.
One of Memorial Health’s community partners provided a visit from Santa Claus.
For little D.J., finishing radiation treatments was the second-best thing that happened Thursday. D.J. was among dozens of children who were treated to a break from being sick during the holiday season by a visit from Santa Claus as employees of the Atlanta Gas Light Company once again brought bags and bags of gifts to the hospital.
“Our employees are part of the fabric of this community, and this is just their way of giving back and hopefully bringing a smile to these families' faces during the holiday,” said Mekka Parish, Atlanta Gas Light, Spokesperson.
Atlanta Gas Light has been collecting toys all year through fundraising, sponsorships, and employee donations to provide a special Christmas moment.
“It’s actually one of my favorite things to watch at the Children’s Hospital. You have to remember what it’s like to be a child and seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes. It really comes to life whenever they see Santa and see all these activities,” said Heather Newsome, Willett Chidren’s Hospital Administrative Director.
While bringing the holiday spirit inside the Children’s Hospital helps ensure Christmas isn’t overshadowed by illness for these kids, Santa’s visit might also have a mysterious medicinal effect.
“There is no medicine better than that of hope, and Christmastime is a good time for that sort of thing, and seeing Santa, seeing the elves, seeing the presents, getting to do decorations and crafts - things they may have missed out on if they’re here for two days, two weeks or two months - means that they have something to look forward to,” said Dr. Michael Bossak, Willett Hospital, Director of Pediatric Medicine.
“We really are able to bring the spirit here to the patients that happen to be here during this time.”