Santa visits Akron Children’s Hospital

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AKRON, Ohio - Christmas morning can be magical for many young boys and girls who wake up to find that Santa has paid them a visit.

But at Akron Children's Hospital 190 youngsters who are not able to be home for the holiday, some are left wondering if Santa even knows where they are.

He does.

On Christmas Eve, before taking off for his worldwide flight, the jolly ol' elf made a special visit to children at the hospital, flying in on Air Bear, Children's Hospital's medical helicopter.

His arrival sent kids scrambling to windows of the hospital to catch a glimpse. Santa made a point to visit with children and their parents first in the hospital's lobby before making personal visits to hospital rooms.

"I get around to a lot of places as you know and this is one of the most special places that I get to took time to come here today to make sure we took care of the children and see everybody," Santa told Fox 8 News.

Among those he visited was Dre'onna Feaster, who was looking forward to spending Christmas with her family sharing gifts and playing games.

"We brought her to emergency (Sunday). She had been playing basketball and fell and hurt her hip, so we thought maybe it might be a bruised muscle but they kind of told us they don't want her to come home she needed to have a pin inserted in her hip," said her grandmother Rachel Hailey.

Santa's visit brought all smiles on Christmas Eve.

"It brightened my day because I have to get surgery and I'm not too happy about it but when Santa walked through my door it put a smile on my face," said Dre'onna.

The hospital was buzzing on Monday with other special visitors and volunteers hoping to spread some Christmas cheer.

"Some of our volunteers bring food, some of them bring truckloads of presents. We have many folks who are here instead of spending it with their families just to make this day special for our families who have to be here," said Grace Wakulchik, Akron Children's Hospital CEO.

"I tell you when you see those smiles it just keeps you going and makes you want to keep on going and going and to me it's just overwhelming it means so much to me to come here and do this for the children," said Santa.

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