Shaggy brings Christmas to hundreds
It was as if good old St Nicholas had stopped the Grinch from stealing Christmas when philanthropist and deejay, Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell, toured the Bustamante Hospital for Children yesterday, handing out gifts, and in-turn, bringing smiles.
An annual event since the early 2000s, the Christmas treat is staged to the benefit of the roughly 300 inpatients across the nine wards at the hospital.
For nine-year-old Natalia Francis, who is in need of hip surgery, the excruciating pain caused by a nasty fall at school earlier in the week was not strong enough to spoil her holidays.
"I feel happy. I have a lot of new friends, and I love Shaggy for the presents," the broadly smiling youngster told The Gleaner.
Also on Ward Two, general paediatric surgery, four-year-old Taeja Goulbourne, who was fresh out of surgery after breaking her right arm in two different places, got her heart's desire.
"She always wanted to meet Santa. At one point, she was saying Santa isn't in Jamaica, but I guess her views will be different going forward having seen Santa today," said Saloma Goulbourne, Teyshia's mother.
From ward to ward, the children were all smiles as the entertainers, who all seemed to be good with children, posed for pictures, talked to them, and shared laughter.
Among the mix was fast-rising female sensation Shenseea and up-coming artiste Kemar Highcon.
Sharing his reason for continuing with initiatives such as this, Shaggy said: "Ya put smile pon pickney face, that's it."
"Imagine yourself in this situation?" asked Shaggy.
"At the end of the day, everything just boil down to the individual. You can sit down and talk about [it], but if you're in the position to do it, just do it," he told The Gleaner.