LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 5-year-old boy battling congenital heart disease thought he wouldn't see Santa because it's been such a tough year.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation proved him wrong with a special surprise Wednesday evening.

With first responders as elves and a firetruck as his sleigh, Santa showed up to greet King Zerick in Shively and brought presents for the boy and his family. 

"His original wish was to go to Disney World," said Kim Hales, an organizer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "Obviously, right now we are not able to grant those travel wishes for these kiddos, so when we talked to him and mom about other wishes he might want he said, 'Well, I'm just really worried Santa can't come this year' for his mom, especially with his mom, due to COVID-19 because they've been in some hardship; and so when you hear that it's a little bit heartbreaking and so we put together everything on his Christmas list." 

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants more than 15,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses in the U.S. every year.

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congenital heart disease