MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Santa visited Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital on Friday to deliver presents to children.
He was escorted to the hospital by the Maryland Heights Police Department. For the past 15 years, the department has raised money to purchase gifts for children at Ranken Jordan.
When Ranken Jordan expanded from a 34-bed hospital to a 60-bed hospital in 2018, the department recruited help from the Maryland Heights Fire Department so they could raise enough money to make sure every child would receive a gift.
Due to their combined efforts, every child at Ranked Jordan will receive a gift this year.
“Today is the best day of the year at Ranken Jordan,” said Brett Moorehouse, president and CEO of the hospital. “Santa Clause comes to visit the kids and he brings Mrs. Clause too. They bring presents to kids who aren’t quite ready to go home, who need to stay here over the holidays. He brings them some extra joy and cheer.”
Moorehouse said the children lit up when Santa came to visit them.
“The kids get big smiles on their faces today and can forget, for just a little bit, about the pain or therapy they have to do today or just any challenges they’ve got, that all goes to the side,” Moorehouse said. “They see Santa and see their favorite present and they feel good inside, it’s healing.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a few things about Santa’s visit will be different. Santa was tested for COVID-19 prior to his visit. The hospital said he tested negative because he has “SANTAbodies.”
Employees, officers and firefighters weren’t able to gather to see Santa with the kids but were able to watch online via a livestream.
If you’d like to donate or send gifts to the children, visit Ranken Jordan’s website, call 314-872-6400 or check out the hospital’s wish list on Amazon.