Santa brought teddy bears for kids in care at six hospitals in a single day on Wednesday, including patients at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre.
BC Children's Hospital Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bell waited with children as Santa flew in on an air ambulance.
"Every year, children in hospital over the holidays who believe in Santa, worry Santa won't find them or they may be missed," says Mary MacKillop, director of Patient Experience at C&W. "Helijet Santa’s visit and filmed message offers the needed assurance for every child in our care that Santa has not forgotten them and knows where they are during this time of year. We are grateful for this long standing partnership with Helijet and EHS as Santa’s visit brings tremendous joy to families at BC Children’s."
Santa was accompanied by one of his elves, BCEHS Infant Transport Team paramedic Joanna Stefani and Danny Sitnam, President and CEO of Helijet International.
For 17 years, BCEHS and Helijet have delivered toys and Christmas cheer to BC hospitals. Last year, due to the pandemic, toys were delivered to children in hospital by staff as Santa was unable to visit them in person. This year, Santa was back to bring smiles and the joy of Christmas to the courageous children in pediatric units and the dedicated front-line health care workers who look after them.
Annually, BCEHS responds to more than 7,400 patients requiring transportation by air ambulance. The Infant Transport Team (ITT) is made up of critical care paramedics based at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. They transport infants, children and high-risk maternity patients throughout B.C. to the facility best equipped to care for them.
“It’s an honour to be part of a dedicated emergency response team like ITT that has provided specialized paramedic care to the province’s youngest patients since 1976,” said Joanna. “We usually meet patients and their families during stressful medical emergencies, so joining them instead for a wonderful holiday tradition is incredibly special for me and all the paramedics I proudly represent today.”
Watch the video of the visit on this link.
And here's some photos of the big visit from the man in red: