RAF

Santa Rides With RAF For Surprise Children's Hospital Visit

It is an annual tradition that has been going on for a decade.

Father Christmas has made an unusual and early visit to the children spending the festive season in hospital by arriving on a Puma helicopter.

Service personnel from RAF Benson flew him to Children’s Hospital at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Tasha Tebutt, whose son Phoenix is a patient at the children's hospital, praised Santa and the military's efforts.

"It's amazing, for them to go out of their way and to fly in as well, it's brilliant," she said.

Ms Tebutt thanked them for visiting her son.

"It is hard to take him to see Santa and you don't want him to miss out just because he's in hospital," she added.

Padre Giles Legood, Deputy Chaplain in Chief at the RAF, said: "For a couple of months now station personnel have been asking if they would like to give some presents for children here on the children's ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital. 

"There's been no shortage of volunteers.

"It's been an absolute honour to be able to do this small thing on the run-up to Christmas," he added.

Santa visits children in hospital Credit BFBS 11.12.19
Many of the children were shocked to see him.

Personnel have been visiting the children on the ward every year for the last ten years.

Elise Longworth, Deputy Sister on Robin's Ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said it was a "huge surprise and the fact that he brings gifts is all the better".

"We're quite a specialist ward, we deal with children with complex neurology and neurosurgical conditions, Ms Longworth said.

"They do have a very tough recovery.

"It can be anything from birth up until 16 - lots of brain surgery and a long recovery so it's very difficult for them," she added.

"I'm obviously very busy at this time of the year but there's always time to come and see the children," said Santa.