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Back surgery helps Santa Ben

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Benjamin Nolt, aka "Santa Ben"

OWATONNA, Minn. (WXOW) - Benjamin Nolt or "Santa Ben" underwent lower back surgery at the La Crosse Mayo Clinic and made a recovery in time to bring joy to kids at Cabela's in Owatonna earlier this week.

This was the first surgery in La Crosse, but fifth overall back surgery. Dr. Shelly Lwu discovered that there were bone fragments from Nolt's previous surgery still lodged in his lower back.

"The surgery that he initially had was the removal of the bones in the back of the spine to give the spinal canal roots room," Dr. Lwu said. "So, they may not have realized that they left a little piece of bone there."

Now that he is fully recovered, Santa Ben can enjoy his job.

"I'm very grateful for Dr. Lwu," Ben said. "When I get done with my day, I'm not so tired like I used to be."

Ben said he helps bring joy to more than 600 children every day.


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