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09th Dec 2017

Santa visits hospice so terminally ill toddler can sit on his lap ‘one last time’

Absolutely heartbreaking.

Keeley Ryan

He wanted to sit on Santa’s lap “one last time”.

The family of a terminally ill toddler was comforted after Santa rushed to be by his side – all so he could have one last visit with St Nick.

Miles Agnew, 2, was born with microcephaly and has spastic quad cerebral palsy, cortical vision impairment, intractable epilepsy, brain malformations and feeding intolerance.

According to ABC News, he was adopted by the Agnew family when he was three months old and has two older siblings: Hailey, 13, and Tavern, 11.

He has been hospice care for a number of months in the United States, where his health has been in slow decline.

But, sadly, his condition deteriorated last week.

Miles’ mum Michelle said that with the turn in his health, they didn’t think they would be able to do a family visit with St Nick this year.

She told ABC News:

“With the turn in Miles’ health and trying to make more memories as quickly as we can we didn’t think we would be able to do our Santa visit.”

But on December 5, Miles and his siblings had a special visit from Santa, who rushed to the hospice so the toddler could sit on his lap “one last time”.

The visit was coordinated by the Secret Sleigh Project, an organisation who provides housebound and terminally ill children the chance to meet Santa at home.

They believe that “every child deserves to experience Christmas magic, even when homebound due to the difficulty of their care.”

Adding that the family doesn’t “take anything for granted”, Ms Agnew said:

“We treasure our time and our memories with our family so much. Although we have had so much heartache in our lives we try our hardest to keep moving forward.

“We are so fortunate for all the good times we’ve shared together and are so grateful for the friends, family and medical community that have supported us. Miles is such a special little boy who is very, very loved in our family.”

Jeff Bodily, AKA Santa, said that his visit with Miles was a particularly difficult one.

He explained to ABC:

“Back in the 70s when I met my former wife, she had two daughters, her youngest had been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and six weeks after we met, she lost her battle, so I knew what the family was going through.

“I can’t lie, I got choked up, and there was a tear in Santa’s eye, but this was for this family’s memory.”

The photo was shared by the Secret Sleigh Project on Facebook on December 6.

They captioned it:

“Yesterday, without hesitation and with last-minute coordination, Santa went to visit one of our family’s whose son became more ill rather quickly this last weekend.

“He was at their local hospital, receiving hospice care to help him be more comfortable.

“The family was grateful to have Santa there and to get pictures with all of their children, one last time.

“We were honored to be a part of this family’s day, in some small way.

“We also send much gratitude to Santa Jeff, who brought some needed joy to this little boy and his family..”

Photo via Secret Sleigh Project/Facebook.