Santa Claus visits patients at Children’s Hospital of Georgia on Christmas Day

Child and Santa smile for photo while mom takes photos with phone
Written by Lisa Kaylor

Santa Claus’ cheery Ho Ho Ho boomed through Christian Norris’ hospital room seconds before the jolly man entered the room himself.

Christian, 3, wore a Santa sat in the middle of his hospital bed at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and broke out into a wide smile as the Jolly Old Elf came near. He gave him a very large stuffed bear, a smaller stuffed animal and a wrapped Christmas present.

On Christmas morning, Santa made his rounds at the Children’s visiting patients like Christian, who couldn’t be home for Christmas.

Christian’s mother, Charlene Norris, said it meant a lot to her that Santa took the time to visit.

“There’s joy for the children in times like this when they don’t understand anything. They don’t understand why this is happening to them,” she said. “Just to see them smile and just to know that Christmas isn’t all about gifts at home. People came out to make sure that he had a Christmas, even if he was in the hospital.”

On Christmas Eve, Christian’s stomach began expanding and he started dry heaving. Not knowing what was wrong, Charlene brought him to the emergency room at Children’s and the staff began running tests. Doctors are still working to determine what’s causing the problem, but they have ruled out a cancerous tumor, Norris said.

She knows first-hand that Christian is in good hands.

“Believe it or not, I was a patient as a child here years ago under the old Medical College of Georgia,” said Norris, who is an Augusta resident. “I’m a cardiac patient myself. Being here as a child and then being here as a parent with a child (in the hospital), it makes you more grateful that we didn’t have to go far.”

As she spoke, Christian unwrapped his gift. It was a toy doctor’s kit, and he busied himself exploring different tools inside and putting a cloth band aid on his leg.

“Some people have to come so far to get here. We are grateful to have this hospital here,” Norris said.