St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Gives Patients a Prom of their Very Own

Pediatric patients of all ages celebrate an important rite of passage that every teen should have, no matter how sick.

Apr 28, 2014, 15:16 ET from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

TAMPA, Fla., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Joseph's Children's Hospital hosted prom night for pediatric 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. On Friday, April 25, 2014, more than 50 patients dressed up in fancy gowns and handsome suits and tuxedos, many donated by community members, and took part in their own masquerade-themed prom held in the hospital's auditorium.

"Like all proms, the special evening included a mix of music, dancing, refreshments, keepsake photos and memories that are sure to last a lifetime," said Kelly Outlaw, child life supervisor at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

Children with health challenges 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.

And because no child should have to miss prom due to an illness or injury, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital did not limit the prom to just high school patients.

"For some seriously ill children, attending this prom may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Outlaw. "We think it's a night that every child should have, no matter how sick, which is why we gave them 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 11 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

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SOURCE St. Joseph's Children's Hospital