Christmas is a magical time of year, but for families who have sick children, much of that magic is missing. However, one terminally ill boy's final wish was to see Santa. And thanks to some quick-working volunteers, that wish came true.
Schmitt-Matzen was all finished with his work for the day when his phone rang, just a few weeks ago. It was a nurse at a local hospital who knows Schmitt-Matzen. She told him that a terminally ill 5 year old wanted to meet Santa, and he needed to come. Now.
When Schmitt-Matzen arrived at the hospital, the child's mother and several family members were waiting for him. The mother gave him a PAW Patrol toy to give to the boy, and Schmitt-Matzen entered the room.
“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!'"
“'He looked up and said, ‘I am?’"
“'I said, ‘Sure!’"
“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down."
The drive home was a long one for Schmitt-Matzen, who was strongly affected by the event. He admitted that he cried the entire way home and wasn't sure if he'd be able to don the Santa suit ever again.
Schmitt-Matzen is no stranger to pain; he spent four years in the Army. Thankfully he agreed to do one more show as Santa. He told the Knoxville News Sentinel, “When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play."
Schmitt-Matzen made a wish come true for that little boy, and he'll continue doing so for other children, too.