Smiles And Sunshine

So, This Santa Is Making Up The Story About The 5 Year Old Boy Dying In His Arms Because He Wants Us To Hug Our Kids, Right?

Something about this story doesn’t add up, but even if it’s a lie we’re cool with it.

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A few days ago a lot of people on Turtleboy’s Facebook roster were sharing this story about a 5 year old boy in Tennessee who died in Santa’s arms during a hospital visit. Warning, it’s really, really, really sad and awful:

This is what happens when a terminally ill child dies in Santa’s arms. “I’d just gotten home from work that day,” recalled Schmitt-Matzen, 60, a mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering in Jacksboro. “The telephone rang. It was a nurse I know who works at the hospital. She said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus.

“I told her, ‘OK, just let me change into my outfit.’ She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’ ”

Schmitt-Matzen got to the hospital in 15 minutes. He met the lad’s mother and several family members.


“She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him,” he said, voice growing husky. “I sized up the situation and told everyone, ‘If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.’ ”

Nobody entered with him. They watched, sobbing, from a hallway window in the Intensive Care Unit.

I’m now going to relay what happened next, just as Schmitt-Matzen spoke to me. Space does not allow inclusion of the numerous pauses he took while struggling to maintain composure:

“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!

“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.

‘“They say I’m gonna die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’

“I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’

“He said, ‘Sure!’

“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.

“He said, ‘They will?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’


“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’

“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.

“Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.

“I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.’”

In despair, Schmitt-Matzen was ready to hang up his suit. “I’m just not cut out for this,” he reasoned.


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It’s obviously hard to read that because you assume it’s true, and you think about your own kids, and it’s just so freaking terrible. But when Turtleboy first read the story, something didn’t smell right. It all seemed too perfectly scripted, and because of the line of work that we are in we naturally become skeptical of any viral Facebook story like this.

Turns out we’re not aloneAnd it’s looking more and more like the whole thing was a hoax. The Knoxville, TN newspaper that published the original story has retracted it:

“Since publication, the News Sentinel has done additional investigation in an attempt to independently verify Schmitt-Matzen’s account. This has proven unsuccessful,” the newspaper explains.

As it turns out Santa isn’t saying the names of the nurse who called him, the exact date it happened, the hospital it happened in, or the family whose five year old boy died. Granted he’s got good reasons for doing so – privacy issues. Plus the nurse could lose her job. But generally when you tell an amazing story that no one witnessed and no one was around to verify, Turtleboy gets suspicious.


Here’s some other things that seemed……odd

  • The kid was having a coherent conversation with Santa and then just died? I’m not a doctor, but if the kid was about to die wouldn’t there be someone in there with him besides Santa? You can just be talking normally one second and die the next?
  • His parents and family agreed to leave the room of their dying son so he could be held by a stranger in private? Yea, can’t say I’d consent to that. How convenient.
  • The parents had a wrapped Christmas gift ready to give to Santa in October? OK.
  • The whole episode with the kid presumably lasted only a couple minutes. So if Santa got stuck at a red light on the way over you’re telling me none of this would’ve happened? He just happened to get there in the nick of time (no pun intended) and saw this kid’s last moments on earth? Certainly makes the story a lot juicier.
  • Santa makes a living pretending to be an imaginary person. He lies to each and every child he’s ever met. Is it really that far fetched to believe that the boy is imaginary too?
  • You can search the obituaries of all reported deaths in the Knoxville area. You cannot find the obituary of a five year old boy though.
  • The Knoxville Sentinel has also retracted their story, because they can’t know for sure that it actually happened.
  • This supposedly happened almost two months ago. He told his story to the newspaper. But yet he didn’t write anything on his Facebook page, despite the fact that he posts on Facebook (mostly about politics) all the time.

Anyway, gun to my head I’m guessing this story didn’t happen. Nothing adds up. I mean, I want to believe that it’s real, but I just can’t.

But ya know what? I’m not even mad at the guy if he is lying. I shed a nice little tear when I read it, and it made me think about how much I love my family during the holidays. He made me hug Turtleboy Jr. just a little bit harder because of this tall tale. And for that I am grateful. What more can you ask for from a fictional character from the Auburn Mall than to bring a family together like that at the holidays?

This is a guy we all accept because he makes kids happy. It doesn’t matter that we all know he’s not real. We don’t care that he’s filling our kid’s brains with propaganda about flying reindeer, and promises to provide Hatchimals that he doesn’t have to pay for. Because he makes them happy, and in turn we are happy. Santa’s been lying to kids for generations and they’re better off for it. Now he’s lying to parents, and we might just be better off for it as well.

The bottom line is that the obviously the media had to look into this. It was just too big. Plus, with all the talk about “fake news” and hoaxes out there, this is a good life lesson for everyone. Just because something is on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true.


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16 Comment(s)
  • Wabbitt
    December 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Call me cynical, but this guy got a shit ton of plugs for his business all over the national media. What if he did it because sales were slow?

  • BobnMic is a lying SJW
    December 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I was trying to be nice and leave this one alone, because it’s Christmas and all. But seriously, if you think about it, what kind of sick selfish SOB would rob a parent of their last moments on earth with their child, then cover it up with some whinging moralistic BS about not having to “bury your own”?

    If real, horrible man. He’s gaining notoriety by whoring out the corpse of a child and reminding the grieving family they will NEVER get those few precious moments back.

    If fake, great smear to replace Jesus as Savior with Santa, thanks to a psychopathic loser.

    • BobnMic's Stolen Valor
      December 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Did Bob ever tell you the story about the time he played Santa and had quintuplets with cancer all die at once in in his arms at the St Judes hospital right after they told him what they wanted for Christmas?

      • Michele (Wife of BobnMic)
        December 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm

        My Bobby is a hero!! He’s developing a cure for cancer during his free time. It has only taken him 3 days and he’s almost got it!

  • DJ Turd Burglestein
    December 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Let’s just all try and enjoy the Holidays

    • BobnMic
      December 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      I had to bring the wife in to watch this one. If I said that was fucking hilarious would that be a bad thing? Holy shit!

      • Michele (Wife of BobnMic)
        December 15, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        Yes we watched it together Robert. What do you want for dinner? was thinking beef wellington since that’s what was on sale. Foodstuffs need to be stretched so we can have a great Christmas dinner.

        • Michele (Wife of BobnMic)
          December 15, 2016 at 4:59 pm

          Foodstamps* Silly keyboard, it still has the Mailman’s DNA all over it. Sticky!

          • BobnMic's Blow Up Wife
            December 15, 2016 at 6:21 pm

            ANSWER ME BOB DAMMIT!!!

        • BobnMic's Blow Up Wife
          December 15, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          BOB!!! What were you doing with that trailer trash whore when you should have been with me?

      • DJ Turd Burglestein
        December 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        Not at all Bob. This classic pretty much captures every poster here on TBS. You just have to try and figure out which character you are.

      • BobnMic Sucks
        December 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Has she ever blown you with a cough drop in her mouth?

        • BobnMic's Blow Up Wife
          December 15, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          If that’s what he wants, then throw a bag of ludens in my mouth and pound away.

    • Melinda Boone
      December 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Shit that is so wrong. LOL

  • Bill P.
    December 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    People are seriously fucked.

  • Lit one up for Santa
    December 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Parents lie to their children and about their children all the time. Santa is the biggest scam ever. Of course Santa gave rise to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Great Pumpkin but hey, it’s no wonder kids lie when their parents teach it to them.

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