Immersive Virtual Reality Treatment Room Changes Chemo Experience for Kids with Cancer

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, Fla., July 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To view and download photos and video of the immersion room, click here.

In Naples, Florida, children battling cancer are receiving their chemotherapy while traveling to outer space, going on a deep sea diving adventure or being immersed inside a video game.

It’s all thanks to a new virtual reality treatment room, located at Lee Health’s Golisano Children’s Health Center.

Inside the innovative treatment room, the walls are covered by floor-to-ceiling projections to give kids a 270-degree immersive experience while they undergo chemotherapy treatments. Children are able to choose from different backdrops, such as the beach, space or underwater, and then be completely immersed in their surroundings. The virtual experience also includes sounds and interactive elements. For example, in the space setting, kids can hit a button on the screen to interact with the astronaut, including making him dance.

Children like 8 year-old Edwin Garcia who once hated chemo appointments now enjoy going to them.

“It has been like night and day for Edwin. He gets so excited going to his chemotherapy now,” said Keiry Flores, Edwin’s mother. “It’s amazing what this room does and just how life-like it is. I’ll never forget the first time he used the immersion room. They had the beach scene up and it’s like he forgot where he really was. He took off his shirt and settled in for his chemo. I couldn’t believe it!”

The goal of the room is to create a soothing atmosphere to help make the 2-to-6-hour chemotherapy treatments more comfortable for children. In addition to the different experience choices, kids can also use the room to watch movies, play video games or video chat with friends and family while receiving their treatment.

“Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida provides a variety of specialized services to take care of our community's children,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and chief executive officer of Lee Health. “Children deserve innovative care in an environment that soothes anxiety and fear, and that’s what this virtual reality immersion room does. We’re proud to be able to offer this kind of technology to our community.”

Golisano Children’s Health Center is an extension of Golisano Children’s Hospital, which is the only children’s hospital in Southwest Florida. Golisano Children’s Hospital is located in Fort Myers.

The opening of the immersive treatment room took place earlier this year and is part of a comprehensive expansion of pediatric health care services at Golisano Children’s Health Center.

In addition to the immersion room, Lee Health is bringing an array of new and expanded services to the Naples clinic aimed at keeping families close to home for their medical care. This expansion will provide greater access and shorter wait times for pediatric services like cardiology, neurology, mental health, developmental disorders, outpatient surgery and ophthalmology, among others.

Golisano Children’s Hospital partnered with local company d3 Creative Studio in the development and design of the immersion room.


About Golisano Children’s Hospital

Established by Lee Health in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three times by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. Since 2019, Golisano Children’s Hospital has been a proud member hospital of the Children’s Miracle Network. For more information, visit


About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at


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