Three-month-old Jace Cahill goes face to face for the first time with Santa during his stay at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Santa made a surprise visit to NRGH’s children’s ward Tuesday to spread a little holiday cheer to young patients hospitalized through the holidays.

Santa trades in sleigh for helicopter to visit young Nanaimo patients

NANAIMO - Santa flies to town to visit children in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Santa caught a lift with B.C. Emergency Health Services to bring Christmas cheer to children in hospitals Tuesday.

Santa left his reindeer in the stable for the annual trip he makes with B.C. Emergency Health Services Infant Transport Team aboard an air ambulance to deliver small stuffed animals to young patients he visited in children’s wards in Nanaimo, Victoria General Hospital, B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The annual toy run cheers children, but also gives paramedics a chance to meet families they normally only interact with during medical emergencies under happier circumstances.

Brittany Clarke, whose three three-month-old son, Jace Cahill, received a small stuffed TY puppy named Duke, said the thought it was “cool Santa arrived in a helicopter.”

“I thought it was amazing,” Clarke said. “I though it was special and very thoughtful of Santa to do that.”

Cahill was released from hospital later in the day.

Helijet International is a major service provider of dedicated medically equipped helicopters to the B.C. Air Ambulance Service of British Columbia.

“We’re thrilled to once again assist Santa on his air ambulance toy run to visit children in hospitals this holiday season,” Danny Sitnam, Helijet president and CEO, said in a press release. “Throughout the year our dedicated Helijet staff works closely with BCEHS paramedics to provide 24/7 helicopter service for hundreds of critically ill patients across B.C. Many of our patients are children, so all of us at Helijet are happy to help make this Christmas season special for these courageous kids and their families.”

To learn more about B.C.’s air ambulance service, please visit

Just Posted

Readers vote for Nanaimo’s Best of the City

Complete results of the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s 2019 survey

Man appealing conviction for drive-by shooting attempt in Nanaimo

Armaan Singh Chandi was sentenced to nine years in jail in B.C. Supreme Court last month

Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs

Union of B.C. Municipalities provides $125,000 grant

June has been Nanaimo’s driest on record so far

Predictions for rain this week could bring temporary relief

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

Island Ferries says it still needs to secure funding

Thieves steal tents meant for Nanaimo school’s Grade 7 camping trip

Businesses, staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Most Read