Morey ‘sees’ Santa for first time

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 24, 2013

At age 39, Ronnie Morey saw Santa Claus for the first time.

That was more than a week ago, and Morey is just as excited today as he was the day Santa arrived at his home in Troy on the Meeksville Volunteer Fire Department fire truck.

Although December is the busiest time of year for Santa Claus, he took time away from his workshop for an early visit with Morey, who has overcome so many obstacles in his life.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The visit from Santa was made possible through the generosity of the staff and volunteers at Hospice Advantage in Troy, the local Walmart store, Troy Church and the Meeksville VFD.

“Ronnie is one in a million,” said Pat Pate, social worker with Hospice Advantage. “When he was three years old, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He had four brain surgeries and was not expected to live until his fourth birthday. He is actually one in a million people who are living with the type of brain cancer that he had.”

As a result of the tumor, Morey became legally blind. He attended the school for the blind at Talladega. He remembers Christmastime but he doesn’t remember ever seeing Santa Claus.

In 2005, Morey suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk again. In 2012, he suffered another stoke.

“At that time, the doctors found a tumor on Ronnie’s brain and his life expectancy was six months,” Pate said. “For a while, Morey had some measure of mobility in a Geri chair, which is basically a medical recliner. He could stay in the Geri chair up to half a day and he could stand. But his condition had declined. He’s now in bed most all of the time and needs total assistance.”

Pate said that all who know Morey admire his determination and the positive outlook that he has on life. In spite of all the adversity in life, he loves life and those around him. He appreciates the things that bring him pleasure – things including a visit from friends, cartoons on television and especially a visit from Santa himself.

“Ronnie’s mother, Helen Lee, is his primary caregiver and she has help from his brother,” Pate said. “At Hospice Advantage, we wanted to do something special for Ronnie and his family at Christmas. He is such an encouragement to all those who know him. We wanted him to have the best Christmas ever.”

Pate said that, being legally blind, Morey only sees vague shapes but, having Santa all to himself, made it possible for him to “really” see the Jolly Ol’ Elf.

“And, Ronnie was so excited,” she said. “He still is. ‘Seeing’ Santa Claus was a great thing that happened in his life.”

Santa brought Morey a large-screen television so he can better see the cartoons that he enjoys so much. Hospice Advantage, Walmart and Troy Church brought Morey DVDs and CDs and gifts for his mom and brother who care from him and for his nephews and nieces that bring joy to his life.

Presents for everyone and seeing Santa Claus for the first time made this year Ronnie Morey’s best Christmas ever.