Children have an up-close encounter with dolphins - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Children have an up-close encounter with dolphins

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It was a dream come true for three children from Rady Children's Hospital and their friends Thursday morning.

Suited up in their wet suits, the lucky kids spent the day riding on dolphins at SeaWorld San Diego. What makes this event even more unique is that the children are battling cancer and other life threatening illnesses. But for the day, it was all about living in the moment.

"It felt weird because the dolphins have silky skin," says Raul Montano, a heart transplant recipient.

Eleven-year-old fraternal twin brothers Eric and Raul, along with their cousin and eight friends were ecstatic about spending the day out of the hospital and in the warm sun. From their hospital beds, they could only dream of getting out and going for a swim. They received heart transplants earlier this year due to a rare disease called restrictive cardiomyopathy, which stiffens heart muscles and slows its ability to pump blood.

"It was a very tough journey. It was hard. Now after five or six months, it's really an amazing experience," says Alma Mundo, Raul and Eric's mother.

The boy's mother says it's been an emotional journey watching her boys grow stronger. Her sons are the first pediatric heart transplant recipients in San Diego County history.

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