Santa makes special visit to Michigan hospital

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The tiniest patients at a Michigan hospital received a special visit full of holiday cheer.

Santa Claus visited 25 prematurely-born infants at Hurley Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Flint, The Flint Journal reported. The babies were too small to leave the hospital, so the head of the North Pole made a special trip to take photos with them last week.

“It means a lot,” said Meochee McCombs of Flint, cradling her 18-day-old daughter, Madisyn. “We know she won’t be home by Christmas, so it’s not like we could actually get pictures with Santa.”

The hospital arranges the annual visit from Kris Kringle to give families a break from the stressful circumstances of the NICU, said Rebecca Jensen, a marketing specialist for the hospital. The unit cares for babies in the region who were born before 36 weeks of gestation.

Santa Claus was portrayed by Montrose resident Dale Nowak, who has played St. Nick for the past 30 years.

“It’s just nice to bring joy to everybody’s heart, especially the moms,” Nowak said. “I know it’s got to be a stressful time of year for them, with the babies here, so as long as I can bring a little smile to their faces … it’s such a blessing to be part of their very little lives here.”

During the visit, nurses helped 7-day-old Nadia White into a stocking for her first photo with Santa.

“It’s so nice that they do this, that we get to celebrate Christmas here,” said Olandria White, Nadia’s mother. “It spreads a little joy.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.