ST. LOUIS – What do you do when you have a sick child and can't visit Santa? Well, Santa comes to visit you of course.
Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, also known as Steve Rupp, paid a special visit to the NICU at Mercy Children’s Hospital today.
“Today is my off day and I came to help be an Elf for Santa,” said NICU nurse Yolanda Tatum.
The nursing staff helped get the babies ready for their first picture with Santa.
“We wrap them up and give them to Santa and they take really cute pictures,” said Tatum. “If the babies are too small or too sick to be held we’ll just have Santa get close to them at their bedside and still take a picture.”
"There are a lot of hard days in the NICU, more difficult days than easy days, and having today just be a fun day to see Santa is really meaningful," said parent Jennifer Williamson.
Santa has been visiting the NICU for about 25 years.
“I want to honor God by taking care of his little ones,” said Santa. "If I can come here and put a little smile on their face for a little bit, that's a good thing."
And the only thing parents really want for Christmas is to take their little presents home for the holidays.
"That is the hope of every parent that their child is home with them on Christmas," said Williamson.