Santa’s visit in Fairview was cut short due to health reasons. (CBS11)

FAIRVIEW (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s concern and sympathy for Santa. His annual visit to Fairview Town Center has been cut short for health reasons.

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Normally you would see parents and kids inside Fairview Town Center waiting for photos with Santa. But a medical emergency has interrupted his visit here leading to thousands of get well wishes from families who are hoping for a speedy recovery.

The Big Guy has been a fixture during the holidays at Fairview Town Center and area malls for nearly 20 years.

Couples got engaged on his lap, kids have grown up before his eyes and some families travel every year from as far away as California just to see The Big Guy.

“He looks the part, he never wears the same thing, he takes his time when he’s doing the pictures. I have an autistic son and he’s a grown man and still insist on taking pictures, and it’s never been an issue,” says Nidia Evans, who along with her three children are among thousands of North Texas families distraught over news that The Big Guy will be absent from his photo studio in Fairview for the remainder of the holiday season because of an undisclosed medical emergency.

“Right before the Christmas holiday is shocking. I told my daughters this morning that we weren’t going to be able to take pictures with our Santa they were very upset, and they made a decision that they just want any pictures this year,” says Evans.

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His authenticity both physically and in his interaction with generations of children is what’s made the big guy so beloved, according to his friends.

“Families spend a minute and a half on average with him and every year they come back every year and the outpouring is just tremendous and you don’t get that with somebody who doesn’t have some sort of magic,” says Lisa Grupa, friend.

Fairview Town Center says it’s received more than 3,000 messages of support.

Those messages, along with prayers friends say, will help the big guy get back in his big chair soon.

“Tremendous outpouring from all of our families the big guy and his family are so grateful and overwhelmed with love and support and appreciate continued prayers and soon to have a speedy recovery,” says Grupa.

If you would like to send a get well card here is the address provided:

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Fairview Town Center
Attn Wendy Ellis
329 Town Place
Fairview, TX 75069