Breath of Fresh Air For Miami Hospital Kids

A day on sunny South Beach was a day away from hospitals for the kids of Ventilation Assisted Children's Camp. (Published Tuesday, March 13, 2012)

A day on sunny South Beach was a day away from hospitals for the kids of Ventilation Assisted Children's Camp.

“I can’t wait to get in the water,” one child said.

Dr. Moises Simpser of Miami Children’s Hospital has been taking kids out to the beach for more than 20 years.

“This is the only way these children who have been prisoners in ICU, they become prisoners in their house, and this gives them the opportunity to do things normal kids do,” Simpser said.

With Miami Fire Rescue assisting as paramedics, the kids who can’t breathe on their own and rely on ventilators are able to feel free and feel the breeze.

“It kind of erases everything, any problems and concerns," said one girl. "It all goes away.”

The day is also made possible by hundreds of volunteers from the Miami public schools, who help the kids abandon their wheelchairs, enjoy some fun in the sun and even experience the water.

For some, it was their first trip to the beach.

“It’s hot, but it’s kind of cool," said one of the children. "I like being buried in the sand a lot.”

“I do this just for the smiles," Simpser said. "When I see them smile and how they feel, it makes a big difference in everybody’s life.”

The kids are thankful for Simpser.

“We all thank him, because no one would make the sacrifice he did,” a boy said.