Santa Helps Comfort A Terminally Ill Boy Who Passes In His Arms: 'You Just Tell Them You're Santa's Number One Elf.'

An incredibly powerful moment.

"When I got there, it was my job to make sure he got Christmas," Eric Schmitt-Matzen told NBC affiliate WBIR on Monday.

In a video interview, Schmitt-Matzen, who plays Santa Claus in Knoxville, Tennessee, describes the incredibly powerful moment he shared with a terminally ill 5-year-old boy at a local hospital. 

According to reports, the boy heard he was going to die and didn't want to miss the holiday. To help, Schmitt-Matzen held an impromptu Christmas, gifting him toys the boy's mother brought along. 

"Well, you're not going to miss Christmas, the elves already had your present, we knew you wanted this for a long time." 

Schmitt-Matzen then continued to relay the rest of their emotional conversation, filling up with tears:

"When you get up those pearly gates, you just tell them you're Santa's number one elf," Schmitt-Matzen said.

"I am?" the boy replied. 

"I'm sure they'll let you right in." 

The boy gave Santa a hug, and said, "Santa, can you help me?"

Schmitt-Matzen then felt the boy pass away in his arms. 


"You comforted the child with the spirit of Christmas," one Facebook user commented on the video interview, shared to NBC News' wall. "This is probably the most touching story I've heard this Christmas season."

You're a wonderful man, to be there for this little boy, and reassure him in his final moments," a nurse added in the comments. "Thank you, Santa!"

UPDATE: The News Sentinel's additional investigation into this story has shown that Schmitt-Matzen's account can neither be confirmed nor denied.  


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.