A Knoxville Santa Claus said a terminally ill 5-year-old boy died in his arms after he gave the boy a present in the hospital.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who does about 80 events a year as Santa, was asked a few weeks ago to visit the dying boy.
Schmitt-Matzen said after giving the boy a toy, the boy asked how he would be able to tell when he got to where he was going after he died. Schmitt-Matzen told him to tell them he was "Santa's number one elf" and they would let him in.
He said the boy gave him a big hug, asked "Santa, can you help me?" and died in his arms.
Schmitt-Matzen said it took him days to recover, but he's continuing to play Santa.