Santa speaks on terminally ill 5-year-old dying in his arms

Throughout the holiday season, I’ve frequently wondered how much joy people who play Santa Claus have. Even although it can’t be an easy job—the strain to match the expectations of every child you see would be enough to buckle me—there must be a wonderful sense of fulfillment at the end of each day.A good Santa can improve any child’s emotions by making them smile, and the notion that they are delivering a little enchantment to a world that desperately needs it must be a pleasant feeling.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a mechanical engineer and co-owner of Packaging Seals & Engineering who plays Santa Claus at numerous events and performances throughout the year, has had a challenging and terrible experience. In 2016, Eric was traveling home from work when he received an emergency call from a Tennessee hospital.Eric informed reporters that a nurse had called him because a sick five-year-old’s last wish was to meet Santa. The boy was hospitalized with a fatal condition.

2-Year-Old Hospice Patient Dies After Sitting on Santa's Lap One Last Time  - YouTube

Eric’s mother arrived at the hospital and presented him with a Paw Patrol figure, which her kid had requested for Christmas. Eric urged the boy’s parents to wait outside while he met the child and accepted the gift so he wouldn’t disgrace himself in front of the child. Eric went on to add that he went into the intensive care unit, sat down by the boy’s bed, and remarked, “What’s this, I hear you’re going to be missing Christmas this year?”

“They say I’m going to die,” the child said after opening his gift. “How will I know when I arrive at my destination?” According to reports, Eric then asked the boy for a favor.
“When you get up to them Pearly Gates, you just tell them you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in,” he went on to say. The child sprang out of bed and embraced Eric fiercely. Following that, Eric informed the media that the five-year-old had died while in his care.

“He was in my arms when I felt him pass,” the man explained. “I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off.” The tragic event reportedly made Eric wonder if he really wanted to be Santa after all. The love, laughter, and excitement of the children he encounters resurfaced after he forced himself to attend an event the next day.

It was these moments that initially convinced him to take up the responsibility. In December 2016, just days after Eric’s story went viral, his version of events was called into question.

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