PHOENIX — Santa is ready to fill his sleigh next week after getting some much-needed repairs by Valley doctors.
Abrazo Arrowhead Campus in Glendale says Lowell Kuester, who is a professional Santa during the holiday season, came in for a heart valve replacement.
"The first thing he said to our doctors, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Merick Kirshner and cardiologist Dr. Nishant Gupta, was that he needed his heart fixed before Christmas because he is 'Santa'," said Structural Heart Nurse Navigator Katrina Ostwald in a news release. "Dr. Kirshner said, 'We will fix your heart for sure but I want to take a picture with you as Santa later'."
Hospital officials say the minimally invasive surgery was completed successfully and Santa was able to return to the hospital -- red hat, suit, boots and all.
Dr. Gupta said in a media release, "We all know Santa delivers happiness. But what happens when Santa's generous heart needs some repairs? This is a truly heartwarming story."