The team at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital uses VR glasses to help children "escape" from frightening or painful procedures during their hospitalization.
Originally, they only had one set of VR glasses for 74 beds, but after one business owner in Illinois watched our story, they donated 100 custom cardboard VR glasses that the kids can even take home.
Richard Oleff, co-owner of Unofficial Cardboard, who donated the glasses, said he called his business partner and they both agreed to donate after seeing how virtual reality can help kids escape from the most traumatic experiences of their lives.
"To see the positivity that was being given and giving them the opportunity to basically distract themselves while going to rough time it was a no-brainer for us" Oleff said.
When a child uses the VR glasses, they can choose different places to see.
The goal is to help the child take their mind off the medical procedure and allow them to virtually see and experience something new.
"When they're having a procedure done there staring at their arm, their staring at whatever is going on, they're worried about it all they can think about is the needle and what's being done," Ernie Yarborouth, a hospital volunteer, said. "The minute they put the VR stuff on it takes them away."
"They forget about what's going on, they forget about the needles, they forget about the medicine, all they really think about is the cool thing they're doing whether it's Skydiving or going on a roller coaster or flying an airplane that kind of thing it gives them a chance to get away." Yarborouth said.
The benefit of the cardboard VR glasses is each kid gets to keep their own set which helps spread less germs around the hospital.
The child life specialists from the hospital said VR has made their job easier.
"They fight us a lot less," Abbey Anderson said. "They don't scream as much. They're completely distracted."
The glasses can help distract a child from pain, by allowing them to have a relaxing experience with music and nature.