Santa makes an early stop at hospital

TUPELO – Santa Claus spread some Christmas cheer Saturday morning to a few kids who were spending the holidays in the hospital.
Cooper Hughes, 5, was one of the kids who got a visit from Old Saint Nick. The kindergartner from Tupelo was admitted Wednesday to the North Mississippi Medical Center after he became dehydrated from a stomach virus.
“We’re hoping to leave today or tomorrow,” said Cooper’s dad, Russell Hughes, on Saturday. “He’s all excited about Christmas. Right after Halloween, we got the tree out.”
Before Santa’s visit, the father-son duo were watching “The Santa Clause,” while Cooper’s mom went home for a quick shower. Earlier in the day, Russell Hughes went hunting for Cooper’s most-wanted Christmas gift – a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed LEGO set.
The store was sold out, but Santa Claus and his helper elf didn’t disappoint.
They brought Cooper a LEGO set, along with coloring books.
“It’s something to keep us busy for a while,” Russell Hughes said as he helped his son put together the LEGOs.
Lisa Hood, the nurse manager of the pediatrics unit, said Santa visits the kids every year. The toys are donated by hospital employees.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal