GEORGETOWN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - An 8-year-old girl in Williamson County employed the help of a local sheriff to let Santa Claus know she wouldn't be home for Christmas.
Seton Northwest Hospital is not where the Gallardo family planned to spend the holiday.
“Once we discovered I was going to more likely be here for Christmas, that really disrupted normal activity for us a lot,” said Roman Gallardo who was admitted to the hospital with a physical injury.
Regardless of the location, 8-year-old Rosita Gallardo wanted to be with her father come Christmas morning.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday and, because why is, I guess, to spend time with my family,” Rosita said.
Still, she had one concern that she shared with her father, Roman.
“Is Santa going to know where I'm at? Is he going to bring the gifts here or is he just not going to bring me gifts because I'm not at home?” Rosita asked her dad.
The pair remembered Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody had multiple deputies tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
“Because Santa’s the boss of all sheriffs,” Rosita said.
“I said, ‘Why don't you call him and, since we both know he's friends with Santa, ask if he can relay the message?’ Just to let Santa know that she's going to be staying here,” said Roman.
“She reminded him to ask me, since I know Santa, to make sure Santa didn't forget her Christmas gifts. So I was pretty moved by that and that's how I even became aware of this issue,” Chody said.
The sheriff immediately contacted his Santa sighting crew to make sure St. Nick got the message.
“She was tickled pink. I mean she was excited and later on that evening, about 11:30, Sheriff Chody came and delivered the news personally to her that he did speak with him directly, and that Santa made note of the change, and that she would not be forgotten,” Roman said.
Chody brought gifts from Santa to the hospital and played Rosita a special video message from the man himself.
“I'm surprised that he didn't forget about me,” said Rosita.
“If it wasn't for him, she would've not have had any type of Christmas that she did and that, honestly, as a father, means everything to me,” Roman said.
On Christmas Day, the surprises kept coming.
“We had two K9 units go up there. Lt. Hughey, from the day shift, who's in charge of the Brown Santa, said that Santa left some gifts for Rosita,” said Chody.
“Just absolutely made her Christmas,” Roman said.
That turned this Christmas into one Rosita will never forget, regardless of the location.
“I think this Christmas is better than the other Christmases, because I got to spend time with my dad and I got to open presents,” said Rosita.