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A Santa surprise at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 2:58 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Metro firefighters responded to HSHS St. Vincent Hospital today, not for an emergency, but to spread some holiday cheer with the help of a very special guest.

Every year, the Green Bay Metro Fire Department delivers gifts to children in the hospital.

But due to Covid-19, firefighters had to stay outside.

“This year we had to be a little bit unique because we don’t want any extra visitors for the safety of the patients, so we thought of this creative idea along with the Green Bay Fire Department of waving to the children on their ladder,” says Ashley Thompson, HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Child Life Specialist.

With a ladder truck positioned next to the hospital, Santa joined a firefighter to ascend 100 feet to wave to the children on the hospital’s highest floors.

“We located him on his GPS and gave him a quick call and he was able to make a stop here during his route so we’re very fortunate,” says Lt. Shauna Walesh with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department about being able to track down Santa.

Inside their hospital rooms, the children use the flashlights on their phones to wave to Santa.

The gifts they receive come from Central Church in Green Bay.

“Congregants at our church donated gifts and were able to bring them, it’s kind of short notice this year with Covid, we didn’t even know if it could happen, but really excited and our church family was really excited about being a part of it and being able to bless kids this year,” says Aaron Schaut, lead pastor at Central Church.

It’s a shining moment for the young patients during a very difficult time of the year to be in the hospital.

“Being here is hard when you’re away from your family because we don’t have a lot of family that can be here except for one parent. Many children are here undergoing chemotherapy treatment, some kids are here for other reasons, there’s just a lot of different diagnosis that we treat here, but regardless of what they’re here for it’s just so special to have something they don’t have to think about being in the hospital, but something fun,” says Thompson.

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