Kids in hospital go on magical adventures through virtual reality
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Most people know what it's like to be in the hospital. One of the hardest parts of being there, is not being able to do simple tasks.
It can be difficult, but just imagine if you're a kid stuck in a hospital bed with no escape.
A local hospital is changing that through new technology. They're taking kids on a trip they might otherwise miss out on.
For 8-year-old Abrille, being in a hospital is tough.
"Because of the IVs and how often we have to switch them, there isn't any mobility in this bed," said Renata Linn, Abrielle's mother.
In an instant, that all changes.
Abrielle puts on a headset and the pain of a ruptured appendix and 8 days stuck in the hospital seems to disappear.
"I felt like I was somewhere else," said Abrielle.
"I've seen smiles from kids who maybe haven't smiled in a couple days since they've been here," said Jacquir MaCloud, Child Life Specialist at Summerlin Hospital.
Abrielle is on a journey to a lake to see a spectacular show in the sky.
A few minutes later, she's flying high on a magic carpet, without leaving her hospital bed.
"It felt like I was actually flying," said Abrielle. "It was like being in Aladdin!" she continued.
It's all thanks to virtual reality.
"We build worlds for kids to feel like they're exploring and meeting new people and we try to have a travel experience, that's more than watching a movie or reading a book," said RJ Sampson, Executive Director of VR Kids.
Every week, volunteers from VR Kids bring the technology to children at Summerlin Hospital.
"I kind of teared up a little bit because she hasn't really got to leave this room," said Renata Linn, Abrielle's mother.
"It was kind of nice to see her smiling and laughing and enjoying another world other than the reality of pokes and probing and IVs," she continued.
It's the escape Abrielle has been waiting for.
The hope is one day all hospitals in the Las Vegas Valley will have virtual reality for children.
VR Kids is a non-profit that is powered by donations. They hope to soon buy more equipment to expand.