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Woman Facing Dementia Moves Santa To Tears


Santa made Christmas bright for an 86-year-old woman facing end-stage dementia.

Karen Rangel met Santa this month in a New Mexico mall photo studio. Rangel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and recently entered hospice care.

“Every time Santa got close to her, she would nuzzle in and close her eyes as if there was no place she would rather be,”  Hartsocks’ Photography wrote on its Facebook page. “It was so sweet and emotional for Santa and our whole staff.”

The studio said Santa — and most in attendance — were moved to tears.

“She will always be Santa’s favorite client and ours, too! There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio during her visit! Everyone instantly fell in love with Karen,” the studio added.

Rangel’s family told ABC News she immediately recognized Santa.

“She recognized him, and she talked to him and even afterward she was saying, ‘I miss Santa. I want to see Santa’,” daughter-in-law and primary caregiver Linda Rangel told ABC News.

And her love of Santa is nothing new.

“My mom has always taken Santa pictures. It started when we were little,” son Steve Rangel told ABC News. “And even when we were older, she continued even going by herself to the mall and having her picture taken. She had a frame at home and each year she would change the photo out and give us copies.”