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'She will always be Santa's #1 girl:' Dementia patient moves Santa to tears

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As a dementia patient entered hospice care, her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico arranged for Karen to have a photo shoot with one of her favorite people: Santa. (The Hartsocks' Photography)

In the final stages of dementia, Karen could never forget Santa.

The great-grandmother had recently entered hospice care when her family in Albuquerque arranged for the sweet pair to sit down for a photo shoot on Dec. 9.

Karen is one of Santa's biggest fans, having visited him even as an adult.

"Karen has a special Santa doll she sleeps with," explained the team at The Hartsocks' Photography in a Facebook post. "[She] doesn't talk too much these days, but enjoys speaking to her Santa doll in Japanese."

During the photo shoot, Karen snuggled up close to Santa, according to the photographers. He gave her a busy blanket, a special blanket that helps dementia patients with agitation and stress.

She told them she loved him and reminisced about their visits. The visit was so sweet that it moved Santa to tears.

"She just looked at me and I just felt like I was 10-foot-tall, [10 feet tall]" Santa told KOAT. "You can just see the joy in her face and her eyes and her smile. That's what Christmas is about."

Images used with permission from The Hartsocks' Photography
Related Topics:
familyholidaysanta clausphotographyhealthsenior citizensgrandparentsu.s. & world