WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Christmas came a little early for kids at Palm Beach Children's Hospital in West Palm Beach on Tuesday when Santa Claus paid them a special visit.
Instead of a sleigh, Kris Kringle came rolling in on a fire truck to deliver gifts at the hospital.
For 18-year-old old Patrick DeCicco, it was a moment that motivated him onto his feet.
"I've been working really really hard the past couple of days," DeCicco said. "It’s been really a struggle being able to get up, and I just thought today was the best day to show everyone what strength I have and what courage and what grit."
DeCicco, a senior at Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, just had major back surgery with two metal rods fused to his spine.
"They basically pulled my spine straight, and so now I’m super stiff and upward and it’s hard to do a lot of things," DeCicco said. "But I’m trying to look at the bright side. I don’t have more pain."
Seeing Santa on Tuesday was just the holiday spirit DeCicco needed.
"I liked it a lot. It helped me," DeCicco said. "I just got my procedure about three days ago so it’s been really rough. I've had a lot of mental breakdowns and it gives me something, a little joy, a little uplifting."
Proving the magic of Christmas is all around.
This was the 16th year that the Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society joined local firefighters for the special holiday visit at Palm Beach Children's Hospital.