Via helicopter, Santa delivers gifts to boy battling health problems

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Everyone knows Santa Claus’s preferred method of aerial transportation is his sleigh and reindeer, but ole St. Nick was spotted Wednesday evening coming out of the sky in another craft.

It was all to put a smile on the face of a little boy who’s battled a serious health condition his whole life.

Cameron Miller’s was born with biliary atresia, a liver disease with no known cure. His grandmother Lory Scarberry had to quit her job to focus on taking care of him.

“He couldn’t go to daycare, and we were constantly in and out of the hospital,” Scarberry said.

The grandmother says it’s believed he’ll eventually need a liver transplant.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation approached Cameron and his family this summer. His wish was simply to go camping.

The foundation provided a new camper, and he and his family spent time over the summer at the Ashland / Huntington West KOA campground in Argillite.

“The people here at KOA accepted us like part of their family,” Scarberry, who lives in Ashland, said.

Campground manager Patty Hallam-Inglis says staff and fellow campers have come to grow quite fond of Cameron, and heading toward Christmas, she came up with an idea for a special yuletide surprise for the boy.

“Somebody had three dogs that looked like wolves out in the pet area,” Hallam-Inglis said, “so I went to talk to them to find out what kind of dogs they were, and that conversation went silent, and I looked up at him and asked if he knew anyone with a helicopter, and his mouth dropped and said he said as a matter of fact he did.”

Santa made a surprise appearance at the campground Wednesday evening via helicopter, taking time out of his busy schedule to deliver gifts to Cameron and his sister.

“I didn’t know that was coming,” Cameron said.

“There’s nothing better,” the campground manager said. “That’s the magic of Christmas.”

“I am blown away,” Scarberry said. “This is such an incredible gift, and we are so, so grateful.”

Cameron’s next appointment is Jan. 3 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Hallam-Inglis says Matt Upp, Kevin Johnson, and Mike Haddix were instrumental in helping pull off Santa’s visit.