Louise Locker, better known to the San Antonians as “Elf Louise,” has suffered what friends are referring to as a minor heart attack.
A spokeswoman at Northeast Baptist Hospital confirmed that Locker, 63, was admitted Sunday evening after suffering from a “heart related issue,” and underwent a heart procedure Monday morning.
Locker is the founder of the Elf Louise Project, a charity that acts as Santa’s Helper each Christmas by providing toys and gifts to underprivileged children.
Her health problems come just as the charity completed its 2012 season, providing presents to more than 4,600 families, according to Bill Harrison, executive director of the Elf Louise Project.
"This is our most stressful time,” Harrison said, adding that the busy season could be a contributing factor to Locker’s heart troubles. “She was here all last weekend, all three days of our deliveries last weekend."
However, Locker’s presence this past weekend, Harrison said, was missed.
He said she stopped by the warehouse at Loop 410 Marbach Road only briefly Saturday, and then didn’t come in at all Sunday. Harrison said, in hindsight, it's a sign that, perhaps, she wasn’t feeling well.
Even from her hospital bed, though, Locker has been reaching out, updating her own condition on Facebook, Harrison said.
"That's the best news that we could have, that she is posting herself and that she is feeling comfortable,” Harrison said. "She's always very positive and she's wonderful about her adversity. She handles it extremely well."
In recent years, Locker also has battled breast cancer.
However, Harrison said this latest health crisis is not related to that, and her cancer has been in remission.
According to Karen May, a spokeswoman at Northeast Baptist Hospital, Locker also issued an official statement saying, “The best Christmas present for me would be to be healthy,” and “Thanks to everyone for their prayers and good wishes.”
While May confirmed that Locker suffered from a “heart related issue,” she said she’s not sure whether the term “heart attack” is accurate.