A 60-year-old man who visits sick children in hospitals in the role of Santa Claus had a really depressing experience.

Social media is buzzing with the tale of Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a 60-year-old man who in hospitals looks exactly like Santa Claus and who tragically witnessed a kid as young as 5 years old die in his arms.

As was routine, a nurse promptly summoned him to visit the young child, and Eric wasted no time in placing a smile on his face.

“My phone started to ring…”  Eric Schmitt-Matzen noted, “On the other end of the phone was a nurse I know who works in a hospital and she told me about a five-year-old boy who was very unwell and whose greatest desire was to meet Santa Claus.”

After the call, Schmitt-Matzen promised to arrive as soon as he put on Santa’s suit, but the nurse indicated it wasn’t necessary: “Just wear your suspenders and glasses, and come straight away…”  The nurse “explained” that there isn’t any more time.

“I told him, “Did I hear you’re going to miss Christmas,” while sitting on the edge of his bed. The small boy was very frail and appeared to be ready to fall asleep at any moment, but when he spotted me, he smiled and said, “Santa, you’re actually here!” “You’re my favorite elf, you know,” The child lit up when I said it and asked, “Really?”

I gave him a toy from the PAW Patrol TV series, which he unwrapped with much effort and a great smile on his little face before standing up to give me a big hug.

“How will I know where I’m going now?”  Santa said, “When you get there, you tell them you’re Santa’s finest elf and they’ll send you to the right place!”

The child passed away during the embrace and verbal interaction, and the parents were outside the room witnessing the tragedy when the child’s mother screamed, “No, no, my God, not yet!” as she entered.

“I gave her her son in a hurry and left. Eric had finished his job. “It had such an impression on me that I wondered if I would play Santa Claus again.”