One lucky Santa Claus

December 26, 2008 4:07:31 PM PST
He has been a volunteer Santa Claus for decades. Santa Claus paid a visit to the kids at Schneider Children's Hospital on Friday morning.

He delayed his return trip to the North Pole to hand out stuffed animals to the children and thank Dr. Barry Kaplan for saving his life.

"I feel good. I feel great because of this doctor. He's given me new life. I have more energy than I've had in year," he said.

Santa, or 77-year-old Jerry Powers, as some adults know him, had serious chest pains in early December.

He was at a local mall listening to kids recite their Christmas lists when all of a sudden he had severe chest pains.

"The heart attack hit so hard that I couldn't hardly talk," he said.

Kaplan did an unusual procedure to unblock Santa's arteries known as radial angioplasty. Santa was back to work in just two days.

Santa says he's so thankful he's feeling 110 percent better because from here he's heading to South America to visit children.

Because of his scare, Santa says he's going to watch his diet from now on. So don't be surprised if Santa skips the cookies at your home next year.

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