Miramar Police Department brings holiday cheer to children’s hospital

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida police department made holiday hospital stays a bit brighter for some of the area’s youngest patients.

Miramar Police officers and Mr. and Mrs. Claus made an early Christmas Eve stop at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Tuesday.

“This was done for me years ago,” said Miramar Police Detective Carlos Villalona. “That’s where the idea came from.”

Villalona’s young daughter was once in the same hospital battling cancer. She died when she was just 20 months old in 2009.

“I see those parents, and I can relate, so for me, it’s personal,” Villalona said. “It just gives me an opportunity to let parents know that they’re not alone, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Santa and his police helpers went floor-to-floor and room-to-room to deliver the toys to the children.

“I got a stuffed bulldog, and I got a pingpong game,” said one patient.

“I think a Fit Bit for my phone, and some glow in the dark headphones,” said one patient. “I’ll be using this a lot.”

The presents were clearly a hit, and the in-room entertainment was an added bonus.

“I don’t have to sing right?” said one patient.

“No, you don’t have to sing!” replied Santa as he sang for the patient.

For some recipients, they received a gift with no price tag, and it came just in time for Christmas.

One patient told 7News she was getting released on Tuesday.

“Yes ma’am. I go home today!” she said.

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