LITTLE Lewis Lawson is the envy of youngsters across the town after Santa Claus paid him a visit 24 hours before setting off to deliver his presents.
Four-year-old Lewis is spending the festive period with his grandparents while his baby brother Jack fights for his life in a Newcastle hospital.
Jack, who was born 10 weeks ago, is in a coma on a life support machine after developing heart problems.
While his parents Kelly Winter and Richard Donovan keep a bedside vigil at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Lewis is spending the big day with grandparents Paula and Barry Lawson.
And after reading in the Mail how his mum and dad wouldn’t be with him on Christmas Day, Santa took time out of his hectic schedule to pay Lewis a surprise visit at Paula and Barry’s house in Owton Manor.
Santa, who was ‘joined’ at the house by local charity champion Jim Croll, passed on his best wishes to baby Jack and handed delighted Lewis an early present before vowing to return on Christmas Eve with the rest of his gifts.
Santa told wide-eyed Lewis: “I know you’re called Lewis, and you’ve been a good boy this year.
“I know your baby brother is poorly, but he’s going to get better while you stay with your nanna and grandad and your mammy and daddy look after him.”
As reported in yesterday’s Mail, Kelly, 29, gave birth to Jack Donovan at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, nine weeks ago on October 12.
After a normal pregnancy and natural birth, 5lb 15oz Jack, completed Kelly’s little family, which includes her partner of four years Richard, 24, and children four-year-old Lewis Lawson, and 12-year-old Chloe Boyd.
But doctors picked up the heart condition when Jack was six weeks old, and scans revealed two holes in the heart.
He is also suffering with brochilitis, a bacterial infection, and fluid on his lungs, and he is now in intensive care at the RVI on a life support machine in an induced coma.
He is being given antibiotics to fight the bugs in the hope that he will become strong enough to have open heart surgery.
Paula said: “It is a tough time, but Jack is in the right place and hopefully he will soon be on the mend.”
Barry added: “Getting a visit from Santa Claus has really brightened up Lewis, he was over the moon and he will remember this for a very long time.
“We’re so grateful that this was arranged for us, once little Jack is out of hospital we will celebrate Christmas again then hopefully this time next year we will all be together.”