Nearly 40 teens and pre-teens had the experience of a lifetime on Friday night.
It was prom night!
There were lights, dancing, food and drinks.
But the prom they experienced wasn’t at their high school, or the local reception hall. It was at Tampa General Hospital.
For the first time, the hospital hosted a “prom” night for pediatric patients and former patients.
Staff and volunteers at the hospital worked hand in hand with students at Blake High School to pull it all off.
Maddie Glas is a senior at Blake. Her mother spent years working at the hospital, and that gave her an idea.
“She got involved by helping with the Tampa General Hospital dialysis party and would bring me along and I would help pass out presents.”
But, what about prom night, Glas wondered.
“Now I’m in high school and I got to go to homecoming and prom and what happens to the kids who are here, because they don’t get to go through that. So I thought why not put something like that on for everybody.”
Glas spent the past month exchanging emails and ideas with her colleagues at the hospital. On Friday night, they were able to see everything come together.
“It’s a relief that it happened and didn’t go down in flames,” Glas smiled. “I don’t think they’ve ever done this here before so we didn’t know what to expect.”
Pediatric Nursing Supervisor Kelly Shelor believes the positivity helps their guests.
“It gives them a positive energy. Something they can take back to their friends,” said Shelor.
“I think it gives them something positive they can focus on, other than being in the hospital in their room.”
One of the younger attendees was Mackenzie Tyler. At 11-years old, she was showing some of the others some wicked dance moves, even using her walker.
“I don’t have a date,” Mackenzie laughed, but that wasn’t the highlight of the evening anyway.
“I got makeup and hair!”
TGH hopes to put on future proms, and workers there were thankful for the donations from McDonalds, Starbucks and several other local businesses.