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Milwaukee-area Santa receives early present

Posted at 4:31 PM, Dec 21, 2018

You never know who could use a Christmas miracle. This time, it was Santa himself.

Bob Zimney was in so much pain he said it hurt when children jumped in his lap.

"I had a lot of pain from my knee to my ankle, and Mrs. Claus noticed my foot was cold and it was getting discolored," Zimney said.

Santa said his wife made him pay a visit to Dr. Peter Drescher, the chief of interventional radiology at West Allis Aurora Hospital.

"It was a very becoming seasonal encounter that I had with Santa. The patient came to me with a claudicatio, which is a medical term for having leg cramps while exercising," Drescher said.

At the beginning of December, Drescher found blockages in Santa's blood vessels going down his leg. His team was the first in Wisconsin to use a new type of stent in the artery, which ultimately kept Santa from hanging up his hat after 30 years in the business.

"I can walk. I can get in and out of the sleigh without any problems," Zimney said.

He said the procedure was quick, and the recovery was easy.

"They even played Christmas music for me in the operating room, which I loved," Zimney said.

Santa is ready for his all-important duties on Christmas Eve.

Doctors said he just needs to lay off the cookies.