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Santa makes a surprise visit to kids at QEII Hospital

Kids at the QEII Hospital got the surprise of a lifetime on Thursday morning, as Old Saint Nick himself stopped by for a visit to the pediatric ward and NICU to spread some Christmas cheer.

Trading in his traditional posse of reindeer for a STARS helicopter, Santa made his way to speak to over 20 families, with a special gift in hand for each child.

Santa arriving at the QEII hospital in Grande Prairie [Michael Lumsden, staff]
“STARS has come through for that over and over for us, and it’s a great way for Santa to get around, and let his reindeer rest up for Christmas night,” says NICU Unit Head Greg Schmidt.

Schmidt says a visit from Santa is more than the surprise and feel-good factor for the kids, it also helps to brighten the spirits of parents, staff and other patients around the hospital.

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“We will get him around to some of the other units around the hospital, and some of the older people in the hospital always have a fun time seeing Santa this time of year, it’s really special for them.”

Schmidt adds it’s also huge for parents, as it is tough to be in the hospital at any time of year with their children, but seeing the guy in the big red suit can bring some extra cheer and add a bit of normalcy for those maybe looking at a stay over the holiday season.

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