Everyone forwarded this viral Santa story. But it might not be true

Dec 18, 2016, 00:17
Everyone forwarded this viral Santa story. But it might not be true

In follow-up interviews, Schmitt-Matzen continued to stand by his account but declined to reveal the identities of those involved, according to the News-Sentinel.

Schmitt-Matzen, a mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering in Jacksboro, Tenn., told news outlets he arrived at the unidentified hospital and met the boy's mother and family members, who were also unidentified.

The Knoxville News Sentinel story quickly went viral after it was published Sunday.

"He's saying the same thing everywhere", he said on the phone.

But he admitted that he didn't like that his account was being called into question. "We're checking the story now". Meanwhile CNN reportedly also contacted major hospitals in the Knoxville area and none could confirm his account.

WBIR-TV in Knoxville says it has independently verified many critical details of Eric Schmitt-Matzen's story of being called by a nurse to the ICU where the boy lay dying.

A Tennessee newspaper that reported a boy died on Santa's lap - complete with a heart-wrenching account of his final words - said Wednesday it can no longer vouch for the veracity of the depressingly Dickensian Christmas story.

"If she were fired for what she did out of the love of that child, then the hospital administrator and HR, they need to take a second look at their policies", Schmitt-Matzen's wife, Sharon, said. "How can I tell when I get to where I'm going?" "It definitely didn't happen here".

But the paper said it can not verify the account by Schmitt-Matzen, a 60-year-old mechanical engineer from Jacksboro, Tenn., who spends time volunteering as Santa Claus at a local hospital. It said that though Schmitt-Matzen was a real person, the paper couldn't verify his story.

However, Schmitt-Matzen is standing by his memory. I wrote something on my pad about "Santa spirit=Love=We give gifts", which is exactly as inadequate as it sounds.

Then the boy said he had one more question. "Why, you're my Number One elf!" "I'm a firm believer in not having to bury your own", he said. Schmitt-Matzen says he "got to the hospital in 15 minutes", just in time to hold the boy before he passed.

"The parents were already pretty distraught", he said. Because Christmas is in December too, a lot of people started smushing Christmas and St. Nicholas Day together, using Jesus's birthday party as a time to give gifts to each other, and to keep in mind to give to people who don't have as much as we do. He lives in Blount County and recalled what Schmitt-Matzen told him in a phone call exactly one week after the incident happened.

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