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Published on April 14, 2024
University Health Pioneers Inaugural Camp in San Antonio for Kids with Heart Defects, Offering Adventure and CommunitySource: Google Street View

In an inspiring move towards inclusivity, University Health has successfully hosted its inaugural overnight camp specifically for kids who live with congenital heart defects. According to an article by FOX San Antonio, the camp, held yesterday at Morgans Camp in San Antonio, was designed to allow participants, aged between 9 and 18, to boldly enjoy traditional camp activities in a medically supportive setting.

"At this camp, they will meet other kids who have had similar medical experiences. It's very reassuring for them to know they're not alone," Dr. Ginnie Abarbanell, the medical director at University Health's Pediatric Heart Center and chief of pediatric cardiology at UT Health San Antonio, told University Health News. The camp included activities such as wall climbing, archery, horse riding, and arts and crafts, all supervised by heart specialists and counselors trained to immediately respond to medical concerns.

The initiative provides an environment where children can feel commonality instead of isolation, stemming from their unique health challenges. As these kids engaged in various activities, they did so with the full backing of medical professionals who were there to ensure their safety at every step.

The camp signifies a step forward in fostering independence among youth with special medical needs. The opportunity to temporarily live away from home and engage in recreational pursuits they would normally watch from the sidelines offers these children an invaluable experience. "Sometimes our congenital heart children feel different," Abarbanell expressed in a statement obtained by FOX San Antonio. This camp aims to actively dissolve those feelings of difference.

Plans for the future of this program haven't been disclosed, but the success this weekend likely signifies the beginning of a much-needed initiative for both children with congenital heart defects and their families. Information regarding the impact on the participants and further coverage of the camp's activities was made available to media outlets that attended.