Community Papers

Santa ditches sleigh for helicopter to drop in at Victoria General Hospital

Jack Hembruff tells Santa his Chirstmas wishes at Victoria General Hospital, Dec. 16 . The six year from North Saanich was unsure if he
Jack Hembruff tells Santa his Chirstmas wishes at Victoria General Hospital, Dec. 16 . The six year from North Saanich was unsure if he'd be home for Christmas. Santa arrived at the hospital via helicopter bringing cheer and gifts for children in the paediatric unit. Each year about 15 children spend their Christmas at the View Royal hospital.
— image credit: Charla Huber/News staff

 

A bit of holiday cheer was added early to the paediatric unit at Victoria General Hospital, Dec. 16.

Santa and one of his elves caught a lift in a helicopter to stop in on the young patients.

He made is rounds to all the rooms, some he could enter and other's he could only chat with the children at the doorway due to kids in isolation rooms.

Six year old Jack Hembruff has been fighting off an infection and it was uncertain if he'd be spending Christmas at his North Saanich home or in the View Royal hospital. Even through the pain he was experiencing, the young boy told Santa he would really like a Super Mario costume and an Octonauts toy.

Ross Hallaway, a paramedic specializing in infant transportation made the rounds with Santa.

"It's great to see the little girls and boys get the holiday spirit," said the paramedic adding it's nice to see the children to give them gifts rather than in emergency situations.

During the Santa visit there were 19 children in the unit and it's uncertain which ones will be spending the holiday there. On average about 15 children spend Christmas at Victoria General Hospital, explained Diane Edwards, child life specialist.

"This visit brings cheer to everyone here, the children, their parents and the staff," Edwards said.

The early Santa visit was made possible through Helijet and B.C. Ambulance.  Santa also stopped at Royal Columbian Hospital in the Fraser Valley and the B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.