Santa comforts sick boy who dies in his arms

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - A Santa Claus in Knoxville, Tennessee granted a boy's dying wish just before the boy died in his arms.

While it's Santa's job to bring joy and happiness to children, it can also be to bring peace.

A few weeks ago, Santa was called to the hospital bedside of a terminally ill 5-year-old boy.

"You have to start off with the jolly voice. You know, that kind of stuff, you know," said Santa, aka Eric Schmitt-Matzen. 'What's this I hear you're going to be missing Christmas this year?' 'Yeah, they tell me I'd dying.' 'Really, well you're not going to miss Christmas. The elves already had the present already made. We knew you wanted this for a long time.'"

Santa gave the one gift he could.

"When I got there, my job was to make sure that he got Christmas," Santa said.

He told the boy to tell the people in heaven that he's Santa's No. 1 elf. The boy was elated, and then died right after. The mother yelled, "No not yet."

It seems Santa's words to the boy were enough to bring him peace.

This story was filed by Becca Habegger of NBC News.


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