GULFPORT — As Santa Claus, George Krokus never planned to slide down a chimney, but crashing into a light pole and a tree wasn’t in the plan, either.
Now the avid skydiver has a broken leg, and newfound viral fame as the "Skydiving Santa" who had a tough tumble from the sky and onto the beach during a charity event over the weekend.
"It appears that only his leg was broken," friend Dominic Nelson wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for medical expenses. "But over time, he expects to make full recovery."
Krokus was dropping in to a charity volleyball tournament with a 9-year-old’s Elf on the Shelf named Kristoff and some volleyballs.
The Tampa Bay Beach Bums were supporting an "Operation Santa" toy drive, according to the GoFundMe page.
Nelson wrote that Krokus’ medical expenses will be around $12,500. Krokus had two leg surgeries so far. Nelson wrote he has been "chatting back and forth ... with both humor (and) heart."