AKRON, Ohio - Part of the joy of the Christmas season is seeing children's eyes light up on Christmas morning, opening the gifts that Santa left for them at their homes.
Some children, however, are not able to be home for the holidays through no fault of their own.
Serenity Fozzard of Ravenna was run over by a tractor trailer while riding her bicycle to school on November 4. Since then she has been through multiple surgeries and therapy.
Still in Akron Children's Hospital she does not expect to go home until the end of January. As she recovers in her hospital room she has been missing out on a lot of family time and Christmas traditions.
Fozzard, 11, says she still believes in Santa Claus even though she knows some other kids don't.
"I would like to see him because other kids, when they see Santa Claus it makes them really excited. So I just want to see him so I can get excited too," she told Fox 8 News on Christmas Eve.
Her story is multiplied throughout the hospital.
So on Christmas Eve, before making his world-wide sleigh ride, Santa himself came to visit.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were flown from the North Pole to Akron Children's Hospital on 'Air Bear,' the hospital's medical helicopter for a special visit on Thursday.
Their mission to brighten the day of children who may not be able to make it home on Christmas morning.
"I love to come down here and see these kids and try to bring a little bit of joy to them. I know some of these kids are going to be here over Christmas and I want them to know that we haven't forgot about them," said Santa.
Children were surprised with gifts donated by generous, and anonymous, 'elves' in the community.
"It's very difficult. Every family has traditions and we are unable to do that, but our goal is to make the best of everything that we can," said Shawna Fozzard, Serenity's Aunt.