Meet the children and families who have to spend Christmas in the hospital
There are millions of kids waiting for Jolly Old Saint Nick to stop by Christmas and leave presents. There are some kids who have to wait in a hospital.
"We are here probably here until the end of January,” said mother Kyndle Christianer, who is at the hospital for her 4-month-old baby boy.
Baby Bryar is diagnosed with down syndrome and achondroplasia, a common type of dwarfism.
With it, comes complications, but Kyndle said she's counting her blessings.
“I have nothing to complain about,” said Kyndle. “I don't lose any sleep at night knowing he is here."
There are several kids at St. John's Children's Hospital, too sick to go home for the winter holiday.
"The four and five-year-olds,” said one nurse, Kelcie King. “They have a tough time with it, they don't know why mommy and daddy can't be here with them, why no one can be here with them."
Now the community is coming together to donate toys and presents under the pseudo name, Santa Claus.
“They get so excited, tomorrow morning is the best,” said King. “To see the kids wake up thinking Santa Claus isn't going to find them, and to have them have presents in the room, it brings a smile to everyone's face, it's never a bad day."
Not even for one teen who's battling leukemia. The teen’s mom said he's an inspiration, especially around this time of year.
"He does better than mom,” said his mother Jenny Pezold. “But because he is so strong, we're strong around him."
The Pezold family, along with several other families, will celebrate their holiday at the hospital, together.
"It's pretty amazing,” said Kyndle. “For him to only be 4 months old we're going to have to bring a suitcase in order to bring everything home whenever he gets released."
We met several incredible families spending their holidays at St. Johns. If you would like to donate, just call the hospital at (217) 544-6464, or visit the website.