Son Dying Of Cancer Says 4 Words That Breaks Mom's Heart



This Story of a Little Boy Dying in Santa's Arms Will Break Your Heart

Update 12/14/16:The Knoxville News Sentinel, which originally reported the story, said that following investigation, "we are no longer standing by the veracity of Schmitt-Matzen's account."

Eric Schmitt-Matzen of Caryville, Tennessee has been playing Santa Claus professionally for the last six years, working approximately 80 events every year. With a soft, white beard and mustache that's totally his own, and a kind twinkle in his eye, the 60-year-old mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering is perfectly suited to play Old St. Nick. He was even born on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day. And when his wife, Sharon, dresses up as Mrs. Claus, they look like they jumped right out of a holiday Coca Cola commercial.

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Schmitt-Matzen has done a lot of visits in his day, but a recent one left him emotionally shattered. Here is the story, as told by him to WKYC reporter Sam Venable:

"I'd just gotten home from work that day. The telephone rang. It was a nurse I know who works at the hospital. She said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus. I told her, 'OK, just let me change into my outfit.' She said, 'There isn't time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.'"

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Fifteen minutes later, he was at the ICU, meeting the little boy's mother and other family members.

"She'd bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him. I sized up the situation and told everyone, 'If you think you're going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I'll break down and can't do my job.' When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, 'Say, what's this I hear about you're gonna miss Christmas? There's no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you're my Number One elf!' "He looked up and said, 'I am?' "I said, 'Sure!' "I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down. 'They say I'm gonna die,' he told me. 'How can I tell when I get to where I'm going?' "I said, 'Can you do me a big favor?' "He said, 'Sure!' "When you get there, you tell 'em you're Santa's Number One elf, and I know they'll let you in.' "He said, 'They will?' "I said, 'Sure!' "He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: 'Santa, can you help me?' "I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him. "Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, 'No, no, not yet!' I handed her son back and left as fast as I could. "I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I've seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses' station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don't know how they can take it ... I cried all the way home. I was crying so hard, I had a tough time seeing good enough to drive.'"

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He was so distraught that he had to cancel his plans to visit his grandchildren in Nashville the following day. He even thought about hanging up his suit for good, but then realized the significance of bringing hope and joy to those who need it.

"When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play. For them and for me."

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Eric Schmitt-Matzen did not respond to a request for comment.






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Date: 12.12.2018, 16:44 / Views: 52283