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Garland Boy Asks Santa to Improve His Dad’s Health: Santa Prays With Him

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Tony Maples Photography


A photo of a 12-year-old boy from Texas praying with Santa was found to be so touching that it recently went viral. Another mother witnessed the boy at the Bass Pro Shop in Garland, Texas, asking Santa to help his sick father instead of asking for any gifts.

The woman spoke to NBC 5 but wished to remain anonymous, and said that on Tuesday, December 19, she saw the boy holding a wish list but that all he asked for was for his father’s health to improve and for assistance with their family’s medical bills. She took a picture of the moment and afterward, she shared it on Facebook. Her post read as follows: “For four years, we have always come to Bass Pro to take Jaxen’s Christmas picture with Santa. Tonight, I knew I was in the right place when the family in front of us went to see Santa. I overheard him ask Santa for money for his Dad’s medical bills, and to please let his dad be healthy! The next thing we notice, Santa and the boy bow their heads.”

The picture was posted on Wednesday, December 20, and spread throughout internet-land like wildfire, obtaining more than 36 thousand reactions and well beyond 5,000 shares as of Friday, December 22. The family was contacted by NBC 5, during which time the boy’s dad said, “I have no real words. It’s just been heartwarming that so many people out there believe and care.” Jason Coker (the dad for whom the request was made) has an undiagnosed blood disorder for which he has been in and out of the hospital over the past two years. His last hospital visit was December 10.

Garland Boy Asks Santa to Improve His Dad’s Health: Santa Prays With Him

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

Emily Coker, the boy’s step-mother, said that Jacob (the young fellow in question) told her he didn’t want any Christmas presents. “He picks up on those things that you don’t realize he picks up on until he brings you the glass of water or offers to help. He’s just special.” When asked about the incident, Santa Claus had this to say: “All he asked for, all he wanted was for me to help his dad. He said he had a lot of pain.” Santa told NBC 5 he offered to pray with him after he heard his request. “I asked that the Lord would help him with the pain and that he would have enough joy in his heart to get through the pain,” he explained.

Since the story broke, philanthropic strangers have offered to assist the family by establishing a GoFundMe page. It was started on December 21, and as of December 23, the campaign has received over $8,000 in donations towards its goal of $10,000. “Santa did what in my opinion the very best of friends do for you – He prayed with him. Jacob’s dad is the primary support of their family. Being ill, impending medical bills and lost wages has put a damper on things this holiday season,” the developer of the GoFundMe campaign has stated. Merry Christmas and prayers for a happier upcoming new year to the Coker family and to Jacob. May you find peace and happiness in the moments that matter, like this one.