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Virtual reality lifts spirits of hospitalized kids by flying them to the North Pole with Santa Claus

Fifty kids at Tampa General to "fly" to North Pole
Posted at 12:54 AM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 06:23:58-05

TAMPA, Fla. -- Reality is not much fun for Braden.

Last month, the 5-year-old from North Port suffered a stroke. He spent Thanksgiving at Tampa General Hospital. He is still there as both his immobility and communication are hampered.

Thanks to local tech firm Cardinal Solutions, Braden will get to virtually leave the hospital on Friday for some holiday fun.

Braden, who is in a wheelchair, will fly to the North Pole with Santa Claus and the crew thanks to immersive technology. Goggles and headphones will allow him to live, run, jump and fly in a video game with 360-degree views.

“Virtual reality gives them opportunities they normally wouldn’t have,” says Dr. Paul Kornberg, a leader of pediatric rehab at Tampa General Hospital. “They can do things their physical limitations don’t allow them to.”

Cardinal Solutions is donating time and resources so some fifty young patients can have this experience at Tampa General. The company created the Holiday Madness video just for the occasion.

“We’re going to put you somewhere else so you can think differently,” says Cardinal Solutions’ Matt Fedorovich.

At least for a little while, the hospitalized kids will think of something else than their current conditions. Many might consider that a Christmas miracle.