LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Tennessee Santa Claus says a terminally ill 5-year-old boy died in his arms after he gave the boy a present in the hospital.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who does about 80 events a year as Santa, was asked a few weeks ago to visit the dying boy.

He says after giving the boy a toy, he told him he was "Santa's Number One Elf."

He says the boy gave him a big hug, asked "Santa, can you help me?" and died in his arms.

Schmitt-Matzen says it took him days to recover, but he will continue to play Santa.

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