- A man playing Santa Claus narrated a heartbreaking Christmas story that happened several weeks ago
- He said a terminally-ill boy died in his arms, after his final wish to see Santa Claus was fulfilled
- The story has gone viral on the internet
This is the heartbreaking Christmas story of a terminally-ill boy from Knoxville that happened weeks before the holiday.
It was narrated to columnist Sam Venable by Eric Schmitt-Matzen, the guy who played Santa Claus, and in whose arms the 5-year-old boy died after fulfilling his final wish to see the ‘big, fat guy’ in white beard and red costume.
The story has gone viral and millions of readers said they cried while reading. Venable, on the other hand, said, he cried while writing it.
In his column for USA Today, he learned of the tale from Schmitt-Matzen himself.
Schmitt-Matzen is known in the Knoxville area for playing Santa Claus for many years. He stands 6-feet tall and weighs 310 pounds; fit enough to play the role of carrying kids on his lap.
It happened a few weeks ago after receiving a call from a nurse from a local hospital about a very sick boy who wanted to see Santa Claus. He arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later, just after changing into his outfit, minus the suspenders.
He met the family, all about to break down, after seeing him. But he told the family they must leave the room if they cannot hold back their own tears; otherwise, he will break down himself and cannot do the task.
There was a toy which the family bought from PAW patrol which they wanted him to give the boy.
“Nobody entered with him. They watched, sobbing, from a hallway window in the Intensive Care Unit,” said Venable in his column.
After walking in, ‘Santa Claus’ found the boy lying in his bed, very weak and almost ready to fall asleep. (Please go to next page to read their conversation)