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Maybe it's the paranoia that's been surrounding fake news since the election, but now there's suspicion about this holiday season's uplifting viral story, too. That's right, the election has ruined the one last good thing we had: sappy videos for when you need to cry at your desk to feel alive.

The story in question is one in which a Tennessee man and seasoned Santa impersonator describes giving a kid in the hospital his dying wish, which was to sit on Santa's lap. It includes a touching video in which the Santa, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, is dressed up as Mr. Claus himself and fighting back tears as he gives his recount of what happened in the room when he delivered a five-year-old boy a small Christmas miracle.

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But now the newspaper that first reported the story, the Knoxville News Sentinel, isn't so sure it's true after all. In the original story, writer Sam Venable interviewed Schmitt-Matzen, who told Venable that he went into the room with the terminally-ill five-year-old boy alone after arriving at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. Schmitt-Matzen describes the conversation that happened in the room between himself and the young boy to Venable, and how the boy died in his arms after he asked the boy for a hug.

While Venable has been able to confirm the details about Schmitt-Matzen's background, his story about going to the hospital to deliver a gift to the child has not yet been verified, according to The Washington Post. The Washington Post also reached out to Schmitt Matzen to verify details of his account, but he "repeatedly declined to provide corroborating details of his story, in the interest, he said, of protecting medical personnel and the privacy of the child’s family."

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If the story is true it means that a terminally ill boy died, but got his final wish granted. If it's a hoax, it means a random guy in Tennessee used the emotional draw of terminally ill children to become internet famous. Neither option is very good, but maybe if it's true a little faith will be restored in this, the bleakest of worlds.

You can watch the original video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8rAy6wjR6E
Sources: The Washington Post