CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago firefighters from engine company 63 made a special visit to La Rabida Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day.
“We are going to put this right here, okay?” said Santa to one child.
Children received Christmas gifts from Santa, which was a surprise visit this year. La Rabida Children’s Hospital provides care for children with complex and chronic illnesses.
Firefighters made sure infants and children received gifts, as well as their siblings.
It’s a difficult time for a DeKalb mother who spent Christmas in a Chicago hospital with her children. WBBM’s Michele Fiore reports.
“Hello, Merry Christmas,” Santa said.
Jessica Brown’s standing at her baby’s bedside, as Santa walks in.
“I’m really ecstatic that you all came, thank you,” Brown said.
“This means a lot to have Santa here. I appreciate everyone who has worked so hard getting this together because there’s a lot of kids who are not receiving anything today and mine were blessed to having to get what they wanted.”
Seven-month-old Macayla has been hospitalized for two months with pneumonia. Her big brother Jayden is all eyes as Santa hands him a gift too, and he seems to get it.
“There’s a lot of kids that go to the hospital and they need presents too,” Jayden said.
Santa has been visiting patients at La Rabida Children’s Hospital for years. Paul Mesirow was the one in the red suit since 1970, before he passed away last year. His son Michael now assuming the role.
“There is no better feeling than seeing these kids’ faces light up and I watched my father do that for them,” he said.
This is the 45th year that Engine Company 63 has delivered gifts to La Rabida.