Santa Claus took time off from his vacation to visit pediatric patients at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital July 29.
Decked out in shorts and flip flops topped off with his signature jacket and hat, Santa stopped by the children’s rooms at the hospital delivering gifts with the help of correction officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.
For the second year in a row, Correction Officer Peter Lambert organized a toy collection to help Santa with his visit. The officer was impacted by the passing of Ryan Zinna, a child who suffered from medulloblastoma, and the toy drive was conducted in Ryan’s honor.
Patients and their siblings were excited to see Santa, and he didn’t forget the parents as those on hand received Starbucks gift cards.
Santa sat down and talked with each of the patients. Avery, 9, from Florida, who became sick while on vacation, said she would give a bigger toy she received from him to another child since she would be traveling on a plane the next day. Macklin, 11, from Wading River, was painting a model toy when Santa entered his room and told him how he wanted to be an engineer when he grows up. And 12-year-old Brady, from Aquebogue, told Santa he would be both the cops and robbers when he plays with his new toy.