TULSA, Oklahoma -- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics from EMSA spent Friday playing Santa Claus to children and teens spending Christmas at Saint Francis Children's Hospital.
The medics organized a toy drive and purchased gifts to bring to Green Country kids. The idea came upon EMT Heath Underwood while building EMSA's Christmas parade float.
"We need to get some toys together for the kids that have to spend their Christmas in a hospital," Underwood said. "I feel bad when any kid has to go to the hospital, much less spend a holiday like Christmas away from most of their family."
Chris Stevens, EMSA public information officer and paramedic, said he felt a special link to the Children's Hospital.
"My son Mac spent the first month of his life in this hospital before this beautiful wing was even built," he said. Stevens' son was born in 2003 with a congenital heart defect which required open-heart surgery.
"Several surgeries and a pacemaker later, he is a healthy, energy-filled kid," Stevens said.
"We all love kids, and we know how hard it is on the child and the family spending time in the hospital around any holiday. We just want them to feel normal during this holiday and know that we are wishing them well, too," he said.