Nurse Saves Christmas by Performing Emergency Surgery on Broken 'Elf on the Shelf'

Her daughter discovered the dog had ripped it apart one morning.

A Florida mom was able to save Christmas for her 7-year-old daughter, and it was all thanks to emergency surgery on their home's Elf on the Shelf that had been met with an unfortunate accident.

Jenn Thelen, a nurse at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, told she spent a frantic Monday, just weeks ahead of Christmas day, saving her daughter Aubrie’s Elf on the Shelf.

Their 2-year-old German shepherd, Zoey, somehow managed to chew the elf's arm off overnight.

“She’s 7, so she’s kind of at that age where we try to keep the Christmas magic alive,” Thelen said. “Monday morning, I woke up to her screaming bloody murder. She was just hysterical.”

Instead of ruining the holiday spirit, Thelen decided to bring the damaged toy to work, where EMTs and emergency room nurses were in on the secret.

“We put the elf on the stretcher, and Ashley, one of our paramedics, dressed up in the trauma room waiting for the elf,” Thelen said. “Ashley did an amazing job sewing him up.”

Because the elves are not supposed to be touched, Thelen even came up with a pair of special gloves they would use to perform the procedure.

“They were magical Santa gloves so Ashley could touch the elf,” she said. “We added that in because I knew Aubrie would ask.”

When the 7-year-old got home from school that day, her mom showed her pictures and videos of the procedure and assured her the elf was on the road to recovery.

“[The elf is] way up high right now away from the dog,” Thelen said. “He’s hanging out on one of those American Doll couches on the China cabinet in the dining room this morning.”