Bob Troy has made it an annual tradition for years to visit one of Rome’s local hospitals with a bag of candy and a smile on his face, bringing the joy of the holidays to those who aren’t feeling all that joyful. And Troy always is sure to bring both sugar and sugar-free candy for the patients who are diabetic.
“It’s really wonderful to see the smiles on their faces,” Troy said. “And let’s be honest here: everyone wants to see Santa.”
At Redmond Regional Medical Center Tuesday morning, Troy visited with patients for a few minutes at a time, wandering with a few of Santa’s helpers who brought along their own holiday cheer.
Cartersville resident Cliff Miller and his granddaughters Amanda, 12, and Sydney, 9, of Clarksburg, Md., joined Troy as Santa’s helpers to visit with the patients.
The girls weren’t so happy about getting up early, but both said that it was a lot of fun to bring smiles to the faces of those who weren’t able to spend the holidays with their families. This was also the second year both girls had helped their grandfather hand out candy at the hospital.
As the group wandered the hallways of the upper floors — Santa’s boots squeaking on the clean floors with each step — they stopped by each nurses’ station to make sure it was OK to check in on patients first. As they approach each room, they peek in to make sure the patient isn’t asleep.
“There’s been times I’ve missed a room and they will call out for me to come back,” Troy said. “Like I said, everyone wants to see Santa.”
Unfortunately some patients weren’t able to see Santa this year. Nurses were keeping those sick with the flu away from as many people as possible to keep the virus from spreading.
As the group continued through the hallways, going down a floor after seeing as many patients as they could, Miller said he thought he knew why both he and Troy enjoyed this new Christmas tradition so much: making people happy, and maybe getting to wear the Santa suit.
“Sometimes I don’t know who enjoys it more, the patients or Bob,” he said.