TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – You may never see their faces or hear their names, but rest assured, America’s healthcare workers are there, working countless hours in stressful, dangerous conditions. They are in the trenches tirelessly for days on end.
They know what a difficult shift looks and feels like.
They’ve faced many as of late, where the workday is seemingly endless with hospitals often beyond capacity with infected patients suffering from this highly contagious virus. Their healing hands are the ones caring for gravely ill patients.
These healthcare heroes, including the thousands at Tampa General Hospital, say its simple. They can’t and won’t give up – no matter how stressful the day may be.
They know people are suffering. They also know there’s always a risk of exposure, yet millions of first responders still show up, day after day, night after night. In fact, chances are while you’re reading this, countless heroes nationwide are at work.
They work all day and night.
These heroes, no doubt, need some down time to let loose and have fun.
How about a dance party?
Well, as it turns out, the hottest ticket in town Thursday night was just that—a dance party like no other. As healthcare workers showed up for the overnight shift at Tampa General Hospital there was something different about the entrance utilized by the staffers in the TGH family.
There was music and lots of it.
There was dancing.
There was laughing, singing and relaxing. Welcome to a much-needed party for our heroes in healthcare at Tampa General Hospital. The partygoers wore masks, scrubs and smiles. They danced and danced and danced.
No bouncer needed for this VIP get-together. No fancy footwear. No dress code.
How about a few fellas break dancing like Olympic gymnasts? Yep, they showed up too, and wow’d the crowd with stunning acrobatics based on classic dance moves from the 80s,
As hundreds of TGH family members walked through the hospital entrance area Tuesday evening, the feeling in the air was hope. Doctors, nurses and their countless colleagues were beaming.
They were happy.
They were relaxed. They were able to let loose and have some much-needed fun, belting out song after one song, especially one in particular that became the night’s official party anthem, Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin,’ which garnered lots of cheering and social distancing high-fives.
“That song holds special meaning,” one nurse said, as she danced with coworkers. “We have to believe, we can’t stop.”
This dance party came with it’s own special DJ, wildly popular in the Tampa Bay area. He spins at MacDinton’s in South Tampa, Tampa Bay Lightning watch parties, packing Curtis Hixon Park, Gasparilla and the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
He’s also performed at Super Bowl events in Miami and Minneapolis and is already booked for this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa. He’s a legend. His love for what he does, his dad explained, is what makes him special.
DJ Jake Dela Cruz is an 18-year-old pre-med student.
His Instagram account features one heck of a Who’s Who, including Shaquille O’Neal who requests custom mixes from the Tampa DJ. You’ll also see everyone from Titus O’Neil to Mayor Castor to Mike Alstott.
Did we mention this DJ began spinning at the age of 7-years-old?
Then, at ten, Jake told his dad he wanted to become incorporated. That was years ago, and he’s still going strong. He works a lot and studies a lot. He says the pandemic is on his mind often.
After all, he has special connections and close ties with this hospital. His mom has been a part of the TGH family for more than two decades. There’s also something else.
Jake was born here.
It’s home. It’s heart.
Jake called the dance party “surreal” as he witnessed history in the making. The crowd was vibing to his songs, painstakingly selected for the perfect set list. He wanted the perfect party. He told 8 on your Side this is the ultimate way to show gratitude and kindness. Make a magical moment.
“This moment is all about showing gratitude,” Jake told us.
Indeed, he wanted a perfect party for the coolest crowd.
Mission accomplished. Well-done, Jake, showing our first responders, we love them dearly and feel lucky to have them in our lives. They are heroes.
All heart. All soul. All in.