Barack Obama dresses as Santa to surprise sick children in hospital, delivers gifts and hugs
Obama also sang Christmas carols along with hundreds of other doctors, nurses, hospital workers, parents and children at the institution.
Former President Barack Obama surprised kids at the Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC on Wednesday and spread some holiday cheer as he dressed up as Santa Claus to distribute gifts at the facility. Obama also sang Christmas carols along with hundreds of other doctors, nurses, hospital workers, parents and children at the institution.
Reports state that the former president was greeted by cheering hospital staff and others as he arrived in a red hat and sang 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'.
While addressing the crowd at the hospital, Obama said: "I just want to say thank you to all of you guys, we had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families. At a time that obviously is tough for folks, as a dad of two girls, you know, I can only imagine."
Barack Obama dresses as Santa Claus to surprise ill Children in hospital over Christmas pic.twitter.com/EOEgRS9VSM— The Independent (@Independent) December 20, 2018
"In that situation, to have nurses and staff and doctors and people who are caring for them, and looking after them, and listening to them and just there for them, and holding their hand... that's the most important thing there is," he added. "What a great reminder of what the holiday spirit is supposed to be about."
Shortly after this, the former president made his rounds through the hospital to deliver gifts, he was reportedly carrying a sack of toys, which included remote-control cars, Hot Wheels sets, jigsaw puzzles, nail polish and more.
One little girl even broke into tears when he greeted her in her hospital room and hugged her. Reports state that he danced for her and the girl was seen covering her mouth in shock. He later wrapped his arms around the child to comfort her.
He also handed out gifts such a remote controlled cars, puzzles and nail polish! https://t.co/lrX2qiPLcX— Metro (@MetroUK) December 20, 2018
The former president later took to Twitter to write about the experience and said: "'Merry Christmas and happy holidays to the extraordinary kids, families, and staff at Children’s National. And thanks for humoring me as your stand-in Santa."
The chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System, Kurt Newman, while talking to the Washington Post, said that the children "will be talking about [the visit] for years to come." "At such a busy time of year, when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents and of each staff member he met along the way," Newman said.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to the extraordinary kids, families, and staff at Children’s National. And thanks for humoring me as your stand-in Santa. https://t.co/mFmYCVk7cr— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 19, 2018
Obama's office also released a statement about his visit to the hospital, saying: "This afternoon, President Obama had the pleasure of visiting with children and families at Children’s National hospital in northwest DC. During today’s visit, President Obama greeted individual patients in their rooms and stopped by several playrooms, bringing Christmas gifts that he and his staff had collected."
"He had the chance to spend some time with parents and siblings of kids who are spending the holidays in the hospital, and he also recorded a short message for the hospital’s internal TV system, wishing all the patients he couldn’t visit today a wonderful holiday season," the statement added.