Feeling like an outsider can be daunting for anyone. For children who are born with or have developed a serious heart condition, that feeling can be even more intimidating.
“When they get to come here, they’re not a ‘heart kid.’ They’re just a kid,” said Kelly, a camp team nurse. “They get to do what every other kid does at this camp. They’re not being singled out; they’re not being treated any different. They’re just kids, and it’s the best.”
Torino Ranch, located 45 minutes west of Las Vegas on state Route 160, has been hosting camps for children facing challenges across the spectrum. Camp Mend-a-Heart has, for the most part, been the start of the summer fun for the children and the ranch.
Children from ages 7 to 18 are able to attend free and have access to various sports, arts and crafts, water games and other traditional camp activities. The camp is staffed by volunteer counselors, nurses and physicians who play a major role in keeping the campers safe.