Santa and Grinch visit patients at Samaritan Medical Center

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Two very special guests did rounds Tuesday morning at Watertown’s Samaritan Medical Center.

Santa Claus and his assistant, The Grinch, checked in on some special patients a couple of days before Christmas.

“Sheer excitement for all those knowing that there was going to be a special visitor, two special visitors, coming and really just engaging with our patients. Bringing a little bit of smiles and cheers to those that are otherwise not with their families and friends,” said Leslie Distefano, director of communications & public relations, Samaritan Medical Center.

Stopping in at various units, including the pediatric center, delivering gifts and holiday cheer.

“The kids are special, they’re sick, they got issues, and may not be home with their family for Christmas. So, if we can bring some of this to them, great. Our whole purpose is to try and bring a little bit of cheer and happiness when a time that being in a hospital is not necessarily fun,” said Santa Claus.

Happiness that was welcomed by both patient and provider.

“I think it’s just really special to not only see the kids light up but see the parents see their kids light up. It’s just, it’s amazing to be a part of that,” said Taylor Dirks, pediatric registered nurse.

Santa was supposed to fly in, but because of the weather and his sled getting prepped for the holiday weekend, he got a ride Tuesday morning on Watertown’s Truck One, making a quick pit stop at Sherman Street School.