A 5-year-old boy of East Tennessee dreamed of seeing the real Santa Claus at Christmas time. In fact, it was his dearest wish. The child was terminally ill and might not live to see the festival, so the nurse called her friend. Eric Schmitt-Matzen, 60, didn't refuse the request and immediately came to the hospital to see the child. He works as a mechanic, but during the festive season he becomes Santa Claus.

When Eric arrived at the hospital, the boy's mother handed him a toy from the popular children's show PAW Patrol and asked him to give it to her son.

Source: YouTube screenshot

Santa walked into the ICU. According to him, the boy was very weak. The man handed him a wrapped gift.

"I hear you're gonna be missing Christmas? No one should miss Christmas. Because you're my most important elf helper!" said Eric.

The boy with his weak hands could barely tear off the wrapper. Then he asked Santa. He was told he was going to die, but he didn't know he'd get where he needed to go.

Then the resourceful mechanic suggested what to do, "Say you're my best elf and they'll let you in the right place."

Eric asked the boy to give him a big hug and the boy said, "Can you help me?" Those were the child's last words.

"I hugged him. Before I could say anything, he was dead," Santa said.

The man cried bitterly, the sobbing mother came into the room and Eric ran out of the hospital and didn't leave his home for three days. Santa admitted that he almost quit his job, but then changed his mind since the smiles on kids' faces are what kept him going.

Watch the video relating this heartbreaking story:

Source: YouTube

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