Santa's video link cheers up youngsters in hospital
SANTA took some time out from his busy schedule to chat with children in hospital via a live satellite video link from the North Pole yesterday.
The playroom at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, was transformed into a winter wonderland especially for their special guest.
Mrs Claus and a bunch of elves were on hand to introduce the children to Santa and give out gifts.
Four-year-old Mark Sheehan from Ballyhahill, Co Limerick, told Santa he wanted a "real combine harvester" and a "gun to shoot the crows".
"He was huge!" Mark exclaimed as he was led out of the room by dad Martin.
Martin explained that Mark was diagnosed with leukaemia last March but was on the road to recovery.
"The hospital has been absolutely fantastic since Mark was diagnosed.
"Today has been fantastic, he really enjoyed it," he said.
Nine-year-old Conor Hinds from Bray, Co Wicklow, is looking forward to getting an Xbox and a BMX bike for Christmas.
Mum Gemma Hinds explained Conor was diagnosed with a tumour in September 2010.
He is looking forward to spending Christmas with his two brothers and finishing his treatment in May, at which point the Make a Wish Foundation is bringing him to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for a well-earned holiday.
Also waiting patiently to chat with Santa was Fei Sheehy (8) from Grange, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
Fei is undergoing two types of chemotherapy at Crumlin Hospital to fight a tumour in her leg which she was diagnosed with last February.
Mum Kate said: "This is fantastic for the kids as it breaks up the mundane hospital life for them."
A spokeswoman for Crumlin Hospital told the Irish Independent there could be up to 100 kids in the hospital for Christmas day.
"We try and bring a bit of fun and sparkle to make things a bit special for them," she said.