On Friday, May 31, 2019, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital hosted prom night for patients who were unable to attend their own dance due to hospitalization or who, due to chronic or life-threatening conditions, may never get the opportunity. Dozens of patients exchanged their hospital gowns for formal attire to attend the Under the Sea-themed dance held in the hospital’s auditorium.
The Child Life team at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital organizes special events, like prom, in an effort to provide patients with experiences that they might not otherwise have due to treatment and hospitalization.
“We think prom is an important rite of passage that every teen should experience, no matter how sick,” said Jazleen Vecchiarelli, manager of clinical services for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “For some patients with a life-limiting or life-threatening diagnosis, this dance may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
This year’s event was an all-day affair that included professional hair and wig styling and pampering by makeup artists. Like all proms, the enchanted evening included refreshments, keepsake photos, music and dancing.
“Our extraordinary Child Life team worked hard to create a very special and unforgettable night for our patients and their families,” said Vecchiarelli. “We hope the experience also provided a sense of normalcy amongst an often stressful and scary chapter in their lives.”
To see highlights from St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s prom, visit: Facebook.com/StJosephsChildrens.
About St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
As Tampa’s only dedicated children’s hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is committed to providing everything needed for the health and well-being of children. Part of the BayCare Health System, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital provides more acute medical and surgical pediatric care than all other hospitals in Hillsborough County. From the tiniest baby to the high school quarterback, patients are cared for by doctors who specialize in treating children, in surroundings designed exclusively for kids.