THE BEST MEDICINE: Santa Claus visits Hervey Bay hospital with gifts for children. Jacob Martin, aged seven, receives his present from Santa with elf Stephanie Wailes, from Bunnings, looking on.
THE BEST MEDICINE: Santa Claus visits Hervey Bay hospital with gifts for children. Jacob Martin, aged seven, receives his present from Santa with elf Stephanie Wailes, from Bunnings, looking on. Alistair Brightman

Santa Claus visit brings joy to child patients at hospital

THE smiles on the faces of kids at Hervey Bay Hospital were lit up brighter than Rudolph's nose when Santa came to visit.

About 35 former and current paediatric patients were treated yesterday to a visit from the big man in red.

With gifts galore handed out to the tiny tots, nurse unit manager Di Vandevelde said it was a great way for youngsters, their parents and the hospital staff to enjoy happiness in a place sometimes filled with sadness.

"It's awesome to do this so the kids can see the hospital isn't always about being stressed and in pain and it's great for the nursing team because they actually see the kids when they are healthy," she said.

Young Jacob Martin (pictured), aged seven, was excited to see his gift of a crocodile board game.

"You have to press down really hard on the crocodiles to play," he said about his new present.

His father, Dean Martin, said Jacob had spent a significant amount of time at the hospital in consultations with medical specialists to help treat his cerebral palsy.

"We've been here quite a bit," Dean said.



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