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Miramar police officers made their Christmas Eve rounds at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital, bringing gifts and the Christmas spirit. Officers Anthony Pacetti and Carlos Villalona and patient Jasmyn Brown, 11, spoke about the day.
It's a holiday to remember at Joe DiMaggio's Children’s Hospital, where Miramar police officers made their rounds Monday.
"I was like, ‘what’s happening’ and got kind of freaked out,” 11-year-old patient Jasmyn Brown said.
On Christmas Eve, the officers acted as Santa to patients as young as eight days old.
“Kids shouldn’t have to spend Christmas in the hospital,” Officer Anthony Pacetti said. “As a child, it’s all about receiving gifts and as an adult it’s all about giving, so I wanted to give to the kids who are going to spend their day in the hospital."
The officers handed out hundreds of toys after Wal-Mart donated $1,000.
One of the officers knows what the little patients are going through. His daughter occupied one of the beds until she died of cancer three years ago. She was only 20 months old.
“There were many dark days for me and my family here,” Officer Carlos Villalona said. “I spent Christmas Day in the hospital, but I remember there were people who took the time and came and put a smile on my daughters face by bringing a gift. I look at it as an opportunity to give back.”
The smiles filled the halls and rooms of a hospital that now has a little more Christmas spirit.
This is the third year Miramar police officers have visited the hospital, and they say they will come back for many years to come.