December 24, 2006 -- Posted at 10:00 p.m. CST
JONESBORO-This Christmas eve children in St. Bernards Pediatric Wing recieved a very special visit from the Jolly Ole Fella himself. That's right, Santa showed up to show kids that even in the hospital his magic is always alive.
He delivered toys to kids from a few months old all the way up into their early teens. He tells K8 that all kids are special and he wants to remind them that, even if they are sick. "It's a joyous time to come up here and see the kids faces light up, and bring toys and bring joy to families that are trapped here in the hospital on this joyous day," said Santa Clause.
For kids like 14 year old Shaenna Holt, Santa's visit made her hospital stay a lot better. "I was pretty down at first, but now I'm good," remarked Holt. "It was pretty amazing and I'm glad I got to see him and I'm very happy about the gifts and everything."
That was echoed by parents of kids who were a little worse off and couldn't speak for themselves. "It was very nice. It made my son's eyes just light up," exclaimed Jacalyn Wilkerson, who's son was suffering pneumonia.
Santa's visit is sponsored by the Jonesboro Exchange Club who finances his special trip to the hospital each year. Barry Forrest and his dad have been making the magic happen for more than 30 years now, and they tell K8 that every year Santa is a huge surprise and very uplifting for the kids.
As santa left the hospital he dropped off a few extra toys into St. Bernards Pediatric play room. Santa said, it's only deserving that the extra toys be left for all kids to play with in the future.
He also told K8 that no fear, he would be back in Region 8 tonight and for all those girls and boys who are on his good list, there will be a tree full of toys in the morning.