NICU babies receive 1st Santa visit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It was one of many “firsts” as parents with tiny newborns received a special Christmas visit in the neonatal intensive care unit at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Sunday.

Retired NICU neonatologist Dr. Craig Kinney, dressed as Santa, visited the premature babies and at their parents’ request, even posed for photos.

“Santa” Kinney met families like the Thomases, who just welcomed Malia, Theo and Zara into the world.

Kinney, with years of experience with the littlest of patients, tucked the 2-day-old triplets into his arms for a photo that their dad, Danny Thomas, called “the best Christmas present ever.”

Vanessa Hartley, whose 2-month-old son Hugh is in the NICU, said she kind of forgot about Christmas.

““This is really nice,” Hartley said. “I’ve been telling him all week, ‘You better be ready for Santa.’”

(Photos courtesy: Spectrum Health | Video courtesy: Spectrum Health Beat/Chris Clark)