Santa visits UVA Health’s NICU

Catalaya Carter took her first picture with Santa Claus on Dec. 15, in part of St. Nick’s annual tradition at UVA Health.
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Catalaya Carter took her first picture with Santa Claus on Dec. 15, in part of St. Nick’s annual tradition at UVA Health.

“We wanted to offer the ability for our families who have a sick child to have some meaning at the holidays and unfortunately, over time, we’ve discovered that there were some babies that will be the only picture they’ve ever had,” Santa Claus said.

Santa and Mrs. Claus took pictures with the babies to help spread some holiday cheer to families who loved ones are celebrating their first Christmas away from home.

“It’s not the ideal time to be in a hospital to have a sick baby that you can’t have with family at home so we as a staff trying to make it as homey as possible and as real as possible,” Mrs. Claus said.

A smile from Santa helps each family through tough times.

“Her getting to experience some things for Christmas is awesome,” Catalaya’s mom Lindsay Carter said. “We thank them [UVA Health] a lot.”

Those smiles also go a long way for hospital staff who continue to work hard during the pandemic.

“This is also a very big staff you know morale booster because all staff we all been talking about it I think since November,” Mrs. Claus said.

For Santa, getting away from the North Pole for a few minutes to share the holiday spirit, is time well spent.

“Anything I could do as as a physician who’s caring for the babies and the families brings great meaning to me personally,” he said.

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