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Elf Louise Suffers Mild Heart Attack, In Hospital On Christmas Eve

The founder of the Elf Louise Christmas Project, one of the city’s most notable Christmas charities for children, spent some time healing in a local hospital on Monday.

The name of Louise Locker, AKA “Elf Louise” has become synonymous with cheer at Christmas time and getting presents to those children who otherwise might not have much -- or anything -- under their tree.

Locker, who successfully battled cancer in 2010, had a mild heart attack Sunday evening, and by 3 a.m. Monday she was on Facebook updating her status and complimenting the great staff.

Friend and colleague Chris Duel said the news from doctors is good after a catheterization Monday morning.

“No blockages. No need for a stint. The doctors are saying that there’s no permanent damage, that the heart will ultimately -- in the next several days -- kind of heal itself,” Duel said.

Duel said Locker would be staying overnight in the hospital for observation and could be released on Christmas Day.

“She said that the doctor said going in that he anticipated they were going to find a blockage and therefore a need for a stint. And the fact that didn’t find any of that, she’s saying that’s a bit of a Christmas miracle,” Duel said.

Elf Louise started the project in 1969 when she was studying at Trinity University. That year, 13 families were served. Today thousands of families in need get a visit from Santa, with presents for everybody.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.