Comfort and joy: Santa's visit brightens day for kids at Central DuPage Hospital

  • Santa Claus checks in on James Young, 8 days old, as the boy's mom, Casey Young of North Aurora, watches Wednesday in the neonatal intensive care unit at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

      Santa Claus checks in on James Young, 8 days old, as the boy's mom, Casey Young of North Aurora, watches Wednesday in the neonatal intensive care unit at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Santa visits with Leslie Freeman of Cortland and her son Austin, 7 weeks, on Wednesday at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. "People are moved when they think someone would want to pay their kids a visit," Santa said through his spokesman, Curt Strating of Wheaton.

      Santa visits with Leslie Freeman of Cortland and her son Austin, 7 weeks, on Wednesday at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. "People are moved when they think someone would want to pay their kids a visit," Santa said through his spokesman, Curt Strating of Wheaton. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Patient Will Smith, 13, of Aurora receives a present from Santa on Wednesday at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield..

      Patient Will Smith, 13, of Aurora receives a present from Santa on Wednesday at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Monica Lisea of Carol Stream and son Milan Nunez, 3 months, get a visit from Santa on Wednesday in the neonatal intensive care unit at Central DuPage Hospital. The Winfield facility has cared for more than 8,300 babies in the past 20 years.

      Monica Lisea of Carol Stream and son Milan Nunez, 3 months, get a visit from Santa on Wednesday in the neonatal intensive care unit at Central DuPage Hospital. The Winfield facility has cared for more than 8,300 babies in the past 20 years. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • James Young is just 8 days old, but he already has rated a special visit from Santa.

      James Young is just 8 days old, but he already has rated a special visit from Santa. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/20/2018 7:31 AM

Santa usually limits his house calls to once a year.

But he made an exception Wednesday when he visited with young patients and their parents at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

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He started in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he saw babies as young as 8 days. And while he wasn't allowed to hold the children, he posed for pictures with them in a facility that has cared for more than 8,300 infants in the past 20 years.

He also saw kids in the pediatric intensive care unit and pediatrics unit. In some cases he could only wave from the hall, but he still brought smiles to their young faces.

Many of the children and their parents will be spending Christmas at CDH, which is why Santa made a special trip to see them.

Curt Strating of Wheaton knows Santa really well, if you catch our drift, and he says this is the second year the jolly old elf has visited youngsters at CDH.

"This is the best time I have at Christmas all year," he said.

Santa brought the kids donated gifts, including stuffed animals and puzzles.

But more importantly, he brought them a sense of comfort and joy in what can be a scary place.

"It's a big deal," Santa said. "People are moved when they think someone would want to pay their kids a visit."

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