Santa drops in to visit sick children at Ballarat Base Hopsital

BRODIE Mooney, 4, wasn’t really sure about the big guy in the red suit with the white beard when he turned up at Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital paediatric ward yesterday morning.

But he was happy with his presents – a doctor’s kit and a golf set.

“Now I’ve got two doctor’s outfits,” Brodie confided in a whisper.

“I’ll have to keep swapping them.”

Brodie, who was hospitalised on Christmas Eve with asthma, was joined in the paediatric ward by Damon Cherry, 3, who broke his hand in an accident at home on Monday.

While Damon was a bit wary about seeing Santa, his two older brothers Anton, 8, and Oscar, 5, were happy to climb on his lap and ring the Santa bell.

Younger brother Jonah, nine months, was content to watch all the commotion from dad’s lap but twin brother Devon also wasn’t sure about all the fuss.

However, the lure of a stethoscope soon won him back over.

Santa (aka Lindsay Erwin) has been visiting the paediatric ward for 40 years after he started working at the hospital many years ago.

“Nobody else wanted to do it,” Mr Erwin said.

“I love it. You never know what you’re going to find.”

While he is now retired, Mr Erwin dons the Santa suit every year for BHS functions, including the staff breakfast and visits to aged care facilities.

“When I walked into A&E (emergency) this morning, the kids all started yelling out.

“I think I actually made them all recover!”