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St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Gives Patients a Prom of their Very Own|
Pediatric patients spend a magical evening celebrating the important rite of passage that every teen should have, no matter how sick.
TAMPA, Fla. (May 11, 2012) – Prom season is underway throughout the United States, and inside the walls of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Nearly 100 current and former pediatric patients dressed up in fancy gowns and handsome tuxedo jackets, many donated by hospital employees, and took part in their own prom night held at the hospital Friday, May 11, 2012. Like all proms, the special evening included a mix of music, dancing, refreshments, keepsake photos and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
Children with chronic or life-threatening conditions sometimes miss or have to delay traditional childhood rituals, such as playing a team sport, slumber parties, learning to drive and participating in high school dances. Child Life Specialists at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital organize special events, like prom, in an effort to provide patients with experiences that they might not otherwise have due to treatment and hospitalization.
Eighteen-year-old Daniel Myers is one of those patients. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Daniel has undergone six heart surgeries in his lifetime and was in the hospital during his own high school prom last year. He was thrilled at the opportunity to attend prom, and spent most of the evening on the dance floor.
And because no child should have to miss prom because of an illness or injury, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital did not limit the prom to just high school patients.
"For some seriously ill pediatric patients, attending this prom may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Leah Frohnerath, child life supervisor at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “We think it’s a night that every child should have, no matter how sick, which is why we gave all of our patients a chance to go to prom now.”
To see photos from St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s prom, visit facebook.com/stjosephschildrens