AirLift 5 Partners with City of Pharr’s Public Safety Teams for Special Santa Delivery to DHR Health


Making Pediatric Patients Merrier and Brighter This Season

Edinburg, TX – Dec. 22, 2023 – While the reindeer got some rest for the big day, the AirLift 5 team partnered with Pharr EMS to safely transport jolly old St. Nick by helicopter to DHR Health in Edinburg on Thursday, Dec. 21. The pediatric patients at the hospital watched in awe from the fourth floor as Santa flew past their windows before descending onto the hospital’s helipad. 

“These children should be home enjoying the holiday season with their family, but they can’t, so we tried to bring them some type of normalcy with a special visit from Santa,” said AirLift 5 Flight Nurse TJ Lopez, adding how overjoyed the team was when they learned about the opportunity. 

Upon landing, Santa visited the pediatric patients at the hospital, bringing hope and making their season a little merrier and brighter. 

“On behalf of the City of Pharr, we thank AirLift 5 for partnering up with us to spread holiday cheer,” said Pharr EMS Chief Daniel Ramirez. “This event was amazing, and we look forward to working with AirLift 5 in future events.”

For three years now, the City of Pharr’s EMS, police, fire and Public Safety Communications departments have come together to collect donations across the city in the months leading up to the holidays to purchase gifts for pediatric patients across the Rio Grande Valley. 

The City of Pharr’s iconic ‘blue Santa’ then visits children at local hospitals to personally deliver the gifts. This year, they visited three hospitals, and partnered with the AirLift 5 team to give Santa a lift from South Texas Health System – Children’s Hospital to DHR Health, making the event extra special. 

“We had the amazing opportunity to bring a little holiday magic right into our hospital. Santa didn’t come by sleigh, but by rotor wing, landing straight onto the pediatric floor to surprise the kids,” said DHR Health Director of Emergency Medical Services Daniel Tuttle. “It isn’t just about the presents, but it’s also about sharing a moment of joy and bringing the holiday spirit to these kids.” 

During the three hospital stops, Santa visited with the young patients and their families, listened to their Christmas wishes, and gave them each a special gift. Click here to view photos of Santa’s visit.

AirLift 5 is a subsidy of Air Methods—the largest provider of air medical services in the United States. The AirLift 5 team, based in Weslaco, is equipped to provide lifesaving and specialty care to pediatric and neonatal patients, as well as adults, throughout the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.