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Video phone puts ill children in touch with Santa

Next Monday, children will be able to see and talk to Santa from their beds at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, thanks to a video phone that will be brought to their bedsides.

"For a child who can't make it out to see Santa in person, this is magic," said Colette Case, the hospital's director of child and family support services.

In addition to the video phone being brought to children, there will also be a video phone hookup to the North Pole in a hospital playroom. Both efforts will occur Monday afternoon, Dec. 10.

Children will be able to talk with Santa and ask questions, also sharing their wish-lists.

The video phone is being provided by Cisco Corp., which started the practice three years ago and now provides the video phone hookups at 20 hospitals.

"When Santa pops up on the screen, you can see the amazement on kids' faces," said Rob Lopez, Cisco senior communications manager and creator of the Santa Connection.

-- Don Kazak

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