A terminally-ill little boy in Tennessee hospital had one wish he wanted to fulfill before he dies. He wanted to see Santa Claus! Eric Schmitt-Matzen plays Santa Claus in different places every year. This year, the 60-year-old was called into the hospital for an urgent visit. He was told to get down to the hospital as soon as he can to see a 'very sick five-year-old boy' who wanted to see Santa Claus before he dies.
Within 15 minutes, Schmitt-Matzen was at the hospital in his Santa attire. When he arrived at the hospital, he met with the boy's mother who handed him a toy to give her son. A toy from a very popular children's show. Once he took the toy, the family exited the room and looked in through the Intensive Care Unit window as Scmitt-Matzen walked inside.
As he entered the room, Schmitt-Matzen said he saw the boy laying in his bed, looking like he was ready to fall asleep.
When speaking with USA Today he said, "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!"
The little boy looked up at Santa and responded, "I am?"
Santa then gave him the toy and watched the boy struggle to unwrap it, "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 little boy had a few questions for Santa, "They say I'm gonna die, How can I tell when I get to where I'm going?"
That's when Santa responded, "When you get there, you tell them you're Santa's Number One Else, and I know they'll let you in."
"They will?" The boy asked.
"Sure!" Santa replied.
The little boy had one last question, which were his final words, "Santa, can you help me?"
Schmitt-Matzen said he wrapped his arms around him and before he could say anything, the boy died.
Unable to say or do anything, Schmitt-Matzen started to cry. The family realized what had happened through the window and rushed in with the mother running in and screaming. Schmitt-Matzen said he handed the mother her son and left the room immediately with tears streaming down his face.
He cried all the way home and had to pullover a couple of times. He said he was a basket case for three days and it took him about a week or two to stop thinking about that moment all the time.