Children filled with joy as Santa beams into hospital
SANTA managed to take time out from his busy schedule yesterday for a chat via video link all the way from the North Pole with children in hospital.
The playroom at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, was transformed into a magical sparkling 'Winter Wonderland' grotto especially for the encounter, with a tree and even a tiny miniature Christmas village.
Children excitedly gathered to catch a glimpse of the man himself. And he didn't disappoint, with his twinkling eyes and bushy beard.
Jamie Pim (11), from Dublin, told Santa he would love a remote control airplane and a surprise. "You could fly it all around Ireland -- it might end up in Cork," chortled Santa.
But mostly Jamie said he hoped to be at home with his mum and dad this Christmas. He gets fed up being in hospital, he said.
"It's quite annoying the way you feel sick all the time. Some days I'm not the best, I was really sick earlier but I'm feeling much better now."
His mother, Antoinette, explained that Jamie was diagnosed with leukemia only last August.
Little Mary-Kate Ormonde (8), from Wicklow, had a cunning plan.
She realised last year that if you asked Santa for something small, "you get loads" -- so this year she is just asking for "a surprise".
Also diagnosed last August with lymphoma, Mary-Kate has been in hospital ever since.
Ella Sherlock (3), from Dublin, blew kisses to Santa to thank him for the gift of a Peppa Pig camper van.
Dymphna Cawley, assistant director of nursing for children's cancer care said: "It's not possible for everyone to go home this Christmas and so it can be a very sad time of the year for many families," she said.
"We try and bring a bit of fun and sparkle to make things a bit special for them."
She said they had planned something festive for every day from now until Christmas.