Nothing will stop this devoted Santa from performing his Christmas duties.
For years, Allen Young from Kansas would dress up as Santa for the kids at The University of Kansas Hospital, while his wife, Laura, would serve as Mrs. Claus. Sadly, Laura died from cancer last year. But before her death, she had a request for her husband.
"My wife told me before she died to continue playing Santa," Young said, according to KSHB. "She loved babies and she loved kids."
While Young was committed to sticking to his wife's request, he had health problems of his own and faced the possibility of having to get his leg amputated -- something he felt disqualified him from playing Santa, according to a video from the hospital.
Luckily doctors were able to save his leg and "Santa" has resumed his merry duties, even paying a visit to kids in the hospital last week.
Though Young had contemplated hanging up the red jacket at one point, his wife's words convinced him otherwise. However he'd developed an infection while caring for his sick wife.
"He neglected himself to take care of his wife and he ended up with me in January and his leg looked pretty bad," David Anderson, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital, said in the video. "That's when I told him amputation was a real risk."
Young was devastated, but urged doctor's to save it so he could reprise his role as the jolly man in red, KSHB reported.
"He told me that I'd get coal if I didn't save his leg -- then it became personal," Anderson said in the video.
Four surgeries later along with months of rehabilitation, Santa returned to the pediatric unit of the hospital to spread cheer, according to KSHB.
Santa hung out with the children and even visited every kid's room so no child would miss out on the magic, according to the video.
Though Young isn't quite finished recovering from his surgeries, he is happy he went forward and fulfilled his late wife's wish. After all, it was all for the kids Mrs. Claus loved so much.
"If I can make them smile and laugh and forget a little bit of pain -- that's what I'm here for," he told KSHB of the children.
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