Grieving father had a heartbreaking request for Santa
ATHENS, GA (FOX 26) - A man's heartbreaking request for Santa is reminding us all to be grateful for our families and friends.
Kyle Daniel walked up to Santa, who was portrayed by actor Caleb Ryan Sigmon, holding something in his arms.
"I have a request," Daniel said to Caleb.
He turned around a picture frame featuring a baby boy.
"My son passed away, last year." He choked up and couldn't finish his sentence.
Kyle's son Hayden died in his arms after a long fight with his congenital heart defect.
Kyle wanted Hayden to still have his photo with Santa, and to give the photo to his wife, Sasha, as a present.
Caleb wrote about this tear-jerking moment on his Facebook page:
"Without anyone saying anything, he handed me the frame and I placed it on my knee.
In the photo, I could see on the little boy's armband that his first name was Hayden.
I didn't ask any questions, but I am guessing that this is his first photo with Santa.
The camera snap was the only sound I could hear through the entire mall.
Normally, I hear all kinds of music and sounds, but it was absolutely silent.
After a handful of clicks, we walked over to the screen and he pointed, saying, 'That's the one.'"
The folks on the photo set gave Kyle the printed package for free. He grabbed Caleb's hand and pulled him in for a hug.
"As he walked out, we all had tears in our eyes," Caleb wrote.
Caleb ended the caption of the picture, which has been shared more than 53,000 times, saying he shared it to remind people that Christmas can be very hard for some families.
"Pray for the brokenhearted. Smile at people. Just be kind. Love one another."
The photo was also shared on the Facebook page "Love What Matters" where the photo has been shared more than 650,000 times.
In the comments of the photo, Hayden's father wrote, "I know what it feels like to be angry at God for taking my child. My son died in my arms after a long fight with his congenital heart defect. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers they do mean a lot to my wife and I."
Kyle and his wife Sasha started the Facebook page Hayden Daniel's Hope. The page is for the memory of Hayden, and to spread Awareness on Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs). Hayden was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Kyle and Sasha are now expecting another baby, their "rainbow", due June 2016.
You can follow their journey on their Facebook page.