Santa’s special stop – Patients, employees at Shelby Baptist greet Santa, Mrs. Claus

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Two very special Santa helpers played Santa and Mrs. Claus to young and old patients and visitors to Shelby Baptist Medical Center last Thursday.

It was Patricia and Wesley Morris’ way to pay the hospital back and to give back to the community for saving Patricia’s life.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who delivered teddy bears and treats &uot;directly from the North Pole&uot; make their home in LaCoosa Estates in the Shelby community.

According to April Holcomb, director of marketing and planning for SBMC, the toys came to Santa by way of the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera.

She said they were left over from the museum’s Polar Express promotion, and the museum wanted them to go to a good cause.

Patricia, 45, is an electrician who said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. In May 2003, she said the breast cancer had spread to her bones.

&uot;We always had God on our side,&uot; she said.

She said people in the Shelby community suggested Shelby Baptist Medical Center as a place to combine her medical treatment and divine intervention.

She said the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also gave her a national prayer base.

According to Patricia, Dr. Ginger Alred got her into SBMC and in the care of Dr. Susan Ferguson.

&uot;Between the doctors, God and the hospital, they saved my life,&uot; she said.

Wesley said both he and Patricia are electricians. He is retired at age 65. And Patricia, 45, no longer works due to her illness.

Both Wesley and Patricia are members of the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 136 in Birmingham, which donated the Santa suit he wore Thursday.

Patricia said Wesley always wanted to play Santa and doing it at the hospital would be a way to pay back both the hospital and the community.

Wesley said he and Patricia have been married for 10 years.

He said of playing Santa, he would do, &uot;Anything I can do for this hospital.&uot;

The greatest Christmas gift Wesley said he could receive is &uot;my wife’s life.