Santa Surprises Hospitalized Children

Santa Surprises Hospitalized Children


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — “It’s not what you expect you’re going to do over Christmas that’s for sure,” says Teague Camarigg.

Camarigg’s 6th month old daughter, Riley is hospitalized with a virus, but Santa didn’t forget about them. Mr. Claus was able to spread Christmas cheer to patients at Avera, Sanford and LifeScape.

For decades Santa along with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue have been teaming up to provide the gifts. Fire chief Brad Goodroad says it’s important to remember those unable to have a traditional Christmas.

“A lot of these kids are kind of in here long term. Some are in here for just a few days, but either way they are here over Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so it’s a great way to brighten their day and their families,” says Chief Goodroad.

Avera’s Lindsey Meyers says there’s plenty of holiday cheer to go around.

“The hospital is very full this year, and so there are a lot of people who aren’t home with their families this time of year because so many are ill and aren’t able to be home, and it’s hard on those families. You know they need to spend Christmas- a lot of them are traveling into the hospital away from home,” says Meyers.

While Riley hasn’t been at Avera long term Camarigg says focusing on normal activities eases the hospital burden.

“You would not expect it at all, so it’s nice to be able to have sort of a Christmas experience while dealing with other circumstances,” says Camarigg.

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