A Santa Surprise

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On Wednesday, the beauty of Christmas arrived at one young Rockford girl's bedside, and it's a day she'll always remember.

It's been four years since seven-year-old Veronica Vasquez has seen Santa Claus, but this Christmas, Kris Kringle is making a special visit.

This year, Santa heard about one special little girl he wanted to meet. When Veronica was four years old, the car she was riding in was hit, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down. Her courageous spirit is admired by everyone she meets, and Santa adores her.

Although Veronica can no longer speak, her words and emotions flow through her eyes.

"She's absolutely in awe. She can't believe what's going on but that look on her face today. There's no words for it," says Sue Wolfe, Veronica's Primary Nurse.

Santa knows how much Veronica loves pop star Justin Timberlake, so Saint Nick thought a portable CD player, complete with a Justin Timberlake CD, would be the perfect gift, and veronica agrees.

"It picks her spirit up, makes her feel better. Even if it's just helps for one day, it's worth it," says Santa Claus.

"She'll never forget; the joy I see in her eyes is something that she'll always have, and nobody will be able to take that away from her," says Santa Claus' daughter Terry Smith.

So this Christmas, on Ellis Avenue in Rockford, two angels met, and now their wings are bound together, shining a radiant light of hope for all to see.