Despite pandemic, UCSF staff holds annual prom for pediatric patients

Despite Pandemic, UCSF Staff Holds Annual Prom for Pediatric Patients

On Friday night, the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital hosted its 10th annual prom, after canceling last year due to the pandemic. This year was the first ever virtual ball.

Oakland, California. – Briana Nathaniel is all ripped off and ready to party all night long! Well, at least for three hours. The teen is a patient at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

“I was due to have surgery first in June because there is a cyst in my throat that is blocking my airways,” Nathaniel said.

Briana was born with sickle cell anemia and is often in pain. A recent episode forced her surgery to be moved, allowing her to attend the hospital’s annual prom. “For kids who are in the hospital, it can be challenging to go to prom and do many of the normal things you can do in your high school years,” says Elyse, the children’s special events coordinator at the school. children’s hospital. Can.

For more than ten years, the hospital has been organizing a prom for its pediatric patient. Last year, the hospital had to cancel due to the pandemic.

But because Briana is a long-term patient and has been a patient since childhood, this wasn’t the first time she’d put on a party dress.

But this year it was a little different.

“Welcome to the virtual ball!” said the staff during a zoom conference call.

Because the risk of contracting COVID-19 was greater for these young patients, the more than 30 attendees were able to enjoy the prom festivities from the comfort of their hospital beds.

But trust me, that didn’t stop the party!

“Even though we couldn’t do this in person, it’s still good to do it virtually because you’re still having fun,” Nathaniel said.

The staff went out of their way to make it a special night!

All the teens started getting prom week through the star treatment. One of the rooms in the hospital was converted into a party store with dozens of free dresses, tuxedos, makeup, shoes and accessories to choose from. The teens were also offered a makeup tutorial from a popular TikTok makeup artist.

“They completely forget that this is a room made up in the hospital,” Cann said.

“My inner stylist was a bit fangirling,” Nathaniel said.

A worthy start to what was sure to be a magical evening.

And when the big night arrived, the teens gave their best, enjoying the magic of what turned out to be a special night, one they’ll probably never forget.

“I am certainly eternally grateful for that,” Nathaniel said.

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