Birmingham's best-loved Father Christmas is planning to retire after 53 years in the job.
Dan Jones, aged 76, dresses up as Santa at least ten times a year to bring a touch of Christmas magic to sick children at Heartlands Hospital, where he is affectionately known as 'Miracle on 34th Street'.
Mr Jones OBE, from Tile Cross, has been Father Christmas for 53 years, including 33 at Heartlands - and despite suffering 17 heart attacks, two strokes and diabetes has never missed an appearance.
Last Christmas he told The Birmingham Post it would probably be his last year as Santa because of his ill health. His fears seemed to be confirmed in January when his health deteriorated rapidly and he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on his kidneys. He is now on dialysis three times a week but still couldn't resist donning his red suit.
He said: "Health-wise I think this might be my last one but I say that every year. Then come July I look at my razor and put it away again.
"I don't shave then until Boxing Day so I have a real white beard. Children always notice and whisper 'he must be the real one'.
"I love doing it - I have more fun than the kids. I can't explain the feeling it gives me, it's wonderful just to see their faces. But don't think I'm doing it for them - I'm doing it for myself. I like to see the look in their eyes.
"Visiting the terminally ill children is hard. I can never eat my tea that day. But I try my best to be just as cheeky and cheerful with them as I am with the ordinary kids."
He has already visited 50 terminally ill children at Heartlands Hospital this week. Many of them are no longer patients there because there is no further treatment available to them, but were invited to meet Santa and watch a pantomime.
He said: "I do it to pay Heartlands back. I've spent so much time there I should pay council tax there. In August 2002 I was diagnosed with cancer and had major surgery in November but I was still Father Christmas in December. I had my first heart attack in 1972 and a heart bypass in 1980 but I've never missed a Christmas."
One year he was too ill to walk, so staff pushed him round the wards in his wheel chair.
He used to hire his Santa suit for #15 a day but became such a permanent part of Heartlands' Christmas, staff made him one of his own.