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Santa Claus Makes a Stop at Local Hospital

SACRAMENTO -- Patients and staff at Sutter Medical Center are used to hearing a pretty unique sound Christmas morning.

"Ho, Ho, Ho."

For the last five years, Dr. Elias Kiwan has dressed up as St. Nick and brought gifts to his patients, many who are battling leukemia and unable to open presents at home with their families.

"Those patients have to be here because they are sick and they are away from their family, so we do this thing. I'll be away from my family, come share their smile, their suffering, and do it on Christmas Day, maybe I'll put a smile on their face," Kiwan said.

He does it for patients like Jose Ruiz, who is having a hard time this Christmas, unsure if he will see his own family.

"My son, my wife, mom, all the family. I really want to see him, hug him. It really helps a lot knowing people care," Ruiz said.

"Some people smile, some people cry, some people try to hug me and take pictures because they send it to their family. This is priceless and we try to do it like a routine or tradition," Kiwan said.

And now they won't have to wait any longer to hear those to jolly words from St. Nick.

"Merry Christmas!"