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.

May 11, 2012, 22:06 ET from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

TAMPA, Fla., May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

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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 limited 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

About St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
As Tampa's first dedicated children's hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is designed to meet the unique needs of children and their families by providing high-tech pediatric health care in a family-centered, child-friendly environment. Part of the BayCare Health System, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is the third largest children's hospital in Florida, providing more acute medical and surgical pediatric care than all other hospitals in Hillsborough County.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at

SOURCE St. Joseph's Children's Hospital