A 60-year-old Tennessee man who spends time volunteering as Santa Claus at a local hospital recently granted a 5-year-old terminally ill boy his final wish this holiday season, and held him as he died in his arms.
“I spent four years in the Army with the 75thRangers, and I’ve seen my share of [stuff],” Eric Schmitt-Matzen told USA Today. “But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.”
Schmitt-Matzen, a mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering in Jacksboro, Tennessee, had arrived at the unidentified hospital and met the boy’s mother and family members, who were also unidentified. A nurse had called with the special request and given him a toy to offer the child during his visit, USA Today reported.