EAST MEADOW - Santa and Mrs. Claus were escorted by Nassau County police officers as they spread holiday cheer and delivered gifts to patients at Nassau University Medical Center.

The entourage of officers dressed as elves to help with their escort mission.

NUMC's pediatric unit can hold as many as 24 children, but it was only a handful this year.

Claresa Pierre, a patient at the hospital, was surprised and a bit frightened by the amount of people in her room when she woke up from her nap.

"It was kind of scary to see those guys in those weird costumes. They scared me to death, but Santa brought me presents," said Pierre.

"It's given the children great joy to see Santa and Mrs. Claus today," said medical center chairman Michael Mirotznik.

This was the third year that the Nassau Police Emergency Ambulance Bureau has escorted the Clauses through the hospital.