Mall Santa refuses to sit with special needs boy
The family of a special needs baby is furious after a mall Santa refused to place their son on his lap.
According to KENS, Megan Self took her 13-month-old son Caleb to Bass Pro Shops in San Antonio, Texas to get a photo with Santa. Caleb has a genetic brain and muscle disorder and requires a breathing apparatus. He's been hospitalized eleven times since March, and all his mother wanted was a simple Christmas photograph. Santa, however, was not onboard. The mall Santa stood up, took one quick picture, then quickly handed Caleb back to his mother.
"We've been through a lot this year, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and everything. This was basically the icing on the cake," said Self.
However, the mall Santa has a different story.
"This child was brought to me strapped in a wheelchair and on a ventilator. I assumed they would bring the child in the chair to the set so I went to assist," he posted on Facebook. "They unhooked the child from the vent and placed him in my arms with a plastic tube in his throat. I was stunned but as carefully as I could I walked over in front of the camera. [...] No one requested anything and I delivered the best picture I could of this child for Christmas!"
Bass Pro Shops released a statement Monday saying "this wasn't something we feel great about." They offered Self a gift certificate and a one-on-one photo session for Caleb, but she declined and suggested the money be donated to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.
Caleb did wind up sitting on Santa's lap... but a different Santa.
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