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Globe Santa

Vietnam War veteran worries for granddaughter

A grandfather from West Roxbury survived a tour of combat in Vietnam, but he has been helpless to rescue his son from years of medical problems – the most recent of which have left the 37-year-old hospitalized and in need of a heart transplant.

He has been able to help take care of his granddaughter while her dad is in the hospital, however, and he recently wrote to Globe Santa for help in providing the 4-year-old girl with Christmas presents this year.

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“I am a disabled Vietnam veteran with my own problems, but my son’s have been a lot worse,” he wrote. |

“Five years ago, at age 32, he underwent a heart transplant. But last summer, that heart began to fail.”

Always a hard-worker, the young man must now rely on disability payments that are a fraction of what he was earning in his job at a Boston-area college, the grandfather wrote.

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The family is far more worried about his health than their finances, his letter continued, but they do not want the 4-year-old to suffer any more than she already has. After 16 years of marriage, the son and his wife welcomed their first child, the grandfather wrote, and the little girl has brought the couple nothing but joy since the day she was born.

Her first few years were marked by her father’s good health and stability, but these recent setbacks have left her wondering what’s going on – and missing her dad.

“She is too young to understand why Daddy can’t come home,” he wrote. “She is a beautiful and very happy child. Without her, I don’t believe my son would have made it this far.”

As for his son, all they can do is “hope and pray” that a suitable donor is found in time to save his life. Yet even after all he has endured, when they visit the hospital, the grandfather wrote that “unbelievably, my son is in somewhat good spirits.”

As a longtime Boston area resident, the family’s grandfather knew that Globe Santa might be able to help them enjoy a merrier Christmas by making sure their little girl did not have to wonder why Santa Claus skipped their house. So he wrote his letter, and summed it up by getting straight to the point.

“The family needs your help,” he wrote. “The kind of help only you can provide; a smile for my granddaughter; and hope for my son.”

This family will join more than 25,000 others receiving a visit from Globe Santa this year, thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups and local businesses that donate to the fund drive, many of whom making giving to Globe Santa a part of their holiday tradition.

Last year, $1.2 million was raised and more than 50,000 children in 32,240 families discovered presents from Globe Santa under their tree.

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