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Medical Edge: Grief Camp for kids

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- An 8-year-old boy got some help after the loss of his dad from Saint Elizabeth Healthcare and a horse.

Most people don't get to share their grief standing in a stable.  But Ben said Porter, his horse at The Potters Ranch, just seemed to listen when he told him about his dad.

"He was a very nice guy and I really loved him," Ben said.

Eight months ago Ben's dad had a massive heart attack and died.  He was just 46-years-old.  Surviving the grief, his family has found, was (and still is) quite a ride.

Deanna Taylor, Ben's mom, said, "Sometimes it's one day at a time, some days it's one hour at a time."

So Ben chose to attend "Equine Grief Camp" with the support of Hospice workers for just 50 bucks a week at The Potters Ranch.  Kids get teamed up with horses for help in healing.

Beth Long explained, "And we match them up with a horse that will best compliment their skills."

Throughout the week each of the children have a chance to get to know the horses in stages.  By the end of the week, they have a chance to ride them.  The funny thing was, grief happens in stages too, and Ben has learned that along the way.  In fact,, all of the kids help one another cope and heal.

Gail Rizzo from St. Elizabeth Hospice said the kids work to get back, "That feeling of normalcy that they are not the only one that's lost someone important."

July 21, 2014, was the final week for Summer Grief Camp at The Potters Ranch.  18 children per week can attend and the camp is targeted to kids ages 9 to 17.

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