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Nurses Throw Prom for Hospitalized Teen at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial

Two female hospital caregivers with young patient wearing prom dress

Prom is one of the most important and memorable moments in a teen’s life. But Caroline Reynolds, a 17-year old patient at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, missed this rite of passage due to a recent hospitalization. That is, until an unlikely “promposal” from several nurses gave her a night she would never forget.

Miranda Sexton, who joined The Children’s Hospital team in last February, learned from Caroline’s mom, Dana, that she would miss her junior prom.

“I thought to myself ‘she’s going to miss her prom?!’” she asked, rhetorically, “And a few of us immediately said we would do something special for her and not to worry about it.”

Miranda and Rachel Searfross, a pediatric medical-surgical nurse who also cared for Caroline, as well as registered nurse Eileen McCartney, nurse resident Cecilia Anderson and child life specialists on the floor hatched a plan to replicate the school’s prom theme, “A City of Stars.” They made invitations, decorated the play room on the floor, worked with the food service staff for refreshments, and throughout it all, kept it a secret from the guest of honor, Caroline.

“We wanted it to be a surprise for Caroline, so we did all of the coordination with her mother,” said Miranda, who is in her first job out of nursing school. “Everyone pitched in and we pulled this off in less than 48 hours.”

“It was such a selfless act,” said Mrs. Reynolds, of the surprise prom. “Caroline absolutely adores her nurses. So the fact that they did this for her…emotionally, it gave her a huge boost.”

Needless to say, Caroline was overjoyed that she would, in fact, go to prom. Five of her friends, including her boyfriend, attended the “City of Stars” hosted by The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial.

“Caroline’s reaction was priceless. She had a great time and that’s what it was all about,” said Miranda. “We would do that for any patient here, and that’s what’s so cool and great about our job – seeing our patients get better and have a smile on their face.”

Nurses Miranda and Rachel both came back to the hospital after their shift to attend Caroline’s prom.

“When you’re in the hospital, you need emotional care as much as you need physical care,” said Mrs. Reynolds. “Caroline’s nurses didn’t even think twice. I just felt really comfortable with them taking care of my daughter. They just step out of the box for their patients.”

Invitations read: “Centennial Children’s Hospital Staff Requests Your Attendance for a Prom Celebration “A City of Stars”

Female hospital patient wearing prom dress

Guest of honor, Caroline, is ready for prom!

A table with drinkware and bottles of sparkling grape juice

The refreshments are ready…

Two female nurses with a young patient wearing prom dress

Caroline (center) poses with her nurses Miranda Sexton (L) and Rachel Searfross at prom. 

Hospital caregivers setting up prom at hospital

The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial team who helped make prom a reality for Caroline.  

Caroline is grateful for the thought, effort and care the team at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial put into giving her a prom to remember. She looks forward to attending her senior prom at her local high school next year. The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial is an affiliate of HCA Healthcare.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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