Miller Children’s Patients Surprised By a Visit From Santa and LBFD

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A Miller Children’s patient receives a surprise greeting from Santa and the LBFD firefighters while strolling the halls of the Hematology/Oncology unit.

A Miller Children’s patient receives a surprise greeting from Santa and the LBFD firefighters while strolling the halls of the Hematology/Oncology unit.

More than 50 firefighters from the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) joined Santa and Mrs. Claus to pay a surprise visit to patients at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

“We have been doing this event for 15 years, but this year’s visit is unique because we are bringing new smiles to new faces,” says Greg Curiel, LBFD Fire Captain. “The greatest gift we can give is donating our time to brighten the holidays for the children here at Miller Children’s.”

As Santa traveled down the halls of Miller Children’s, he rang bells which christened his arrival at the three pediatric playrooms and the patients’ bedsides. The visit brought smiles to the faces of the patients and families who were excited to meet and take photos with Santa and the LBFD firefighters.

“All of the firefighters are here because they enjoy giving back to the patients and families of Miller Children’s,” Curiel said.

The event, put on by the LBFD Kids program gives patients the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the holiday season despite not being able to take part in festivities in the comfort of their own homes. The LBFD Santa visit takes a unique approach to offering patients a special in-hospital Christmas experience. While visiting, Santa delivered teddy bears, t-shirts, LBFD Kids bags, candy canes and other mementos to Miller Children’s patients.

The LBFD Santa visit is organized by the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s. The goal of this event is to keep patients encouraged and in good spirits throughout the holiday season. The Child Life Program coordinates uplifting special events to ensure that patients receive not only proper care but the best hospital experience during their stay.

The mission of LBFD Kids is to enhance the lives and well-being of the children at Miller Children’s by bringing smiles and laughter. This year, the LBFD Santa visit did just that.

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