By Charlie Carey
Even with all the surprises that 2020 has brought, nothing is stopping Santa from delivering presents to sick children in B.C. hospitals this week. Although, this will be the first time in 16 years that Santa himself isn’t flying in for an extra special pre-Christmas Eve visit.
Unable to stroll the hospital hallways this year due to the pandemic, Santa has been sending presents directly to hospital staff to hand over to children in pediatric units throughout B.C., with the help of Helijet and the British Columbia Emergency Health Service.
“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of us in countless ways this year. That why I’m especially delighted to hear that even without Santa’s personal hospital visits, BC EHS and Helijet have still found a way to bring some smiles to young patients spending the holiday season in hospital,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Santa sent gifts to Victoria General, Surrey Memorial, Royal Columbian and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital this year.
Although this year’s change of plans means Santa could not visit each hospital, there was one special flight that Santa insisted on doing.
Collecting friends Helijet CEO Danny Sitnam and paramedic Jeff Scott along the way, Santa arrived on top of the helipad at the B.C. Children’s and Women’s hospitals this week. There, he was greeted by two young patients who received gifts on behalf of all patients at the hospital.
“The opportunity to help Santa surprise children and their families in hospital this holiday season is something I am very proud to be a part of,” said Scott. “As an infant transport team paramedic for 10 years, I often meet patients and their families during medical emergencies, so this is a wonderful opportunity to help bring some holiday cheer.”
The tradition of the big man in red visiting B.C. hospitals with paramedics began in 2005.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.