Santa makes a special visit to kids at ECM Hospital in Florence

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Being away from home for Christmas can be difficult. As a child, being in the hospital on Christmas would have to be the worst.

With just four days until Christmas, Santa made an early pit-stop in the Shoals today.

Although many of the beds on the pediatric floor of ECM Hospital are empty, a few of them will be occupied through Christmas.

Fortunately for those kids, a man dressed in his customary red outfit got a special escort Monday by the Florence Police Department.

“He comes in with a guard of three or four police officers bringing Santa in to see them and you see a little one’s eyes light up,” Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said.

Bags with Christmas goodies help left the spirits of these young kids. Many of them have been here for days.

Chief Tyler hopes the visit is a little ray of sunshine for the kids who are dealing with a gloomy Christmas.

“Ordinarily little kids love to see police officers when we come,” Tyler explained. ”It’s clear on a day like this that police officers take a backseat to Santa Claus.”

Who wouldn’t have their spirits lifted if Santa came to visit them in a hospital?

The Florence Police Department helps organize and sponsor the special visit from Santa Claus each year.