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Caregivers bring the homecoming dance to a young patient

Caregivers bring the homecoming dance to a young patient

RVH Homecomming

When caregivers from the Primary Children's unit at Riverton Hospital learned that Hailey Winn, a high school senior from West Jordan, would be missing her homecoming dance, they decided to bring the dance to her. Hailey attends Copper Hills High School and she'd been planning to attend the football game and the dance until she ended up in the hospital.

"I was really frustrated to be back in the hospital," says Hailey, who was recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease and spent much of her summer being sick.

When the school year started Hailey had been recovering from emergency surgery and a hospital stay, and she'd been looking forward to making new friends and having things get back to normal. Then she got sick again the day before the dance.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Hailey says. "I had my shoes picked out, my dress hemmed, and then I had to call my date and let him know I couldn't make it. My date was nice about it, but I was sad. This wasn't at all how I'd pictured this night happening."

But then the Riverton Hospital team turned Hailey's homecoming into something magical. "My date came to visit me, and my parents and the nurses were taking photos of us in my hospital room," says Hailey. "Then they asked us to come to the room next door."

When the door opened, the room was decorated with green and blue streamers in the school colors all over the walls and ceiling. The nurses had included other little touches like candles and pictures of tourist attractions from around the world to go with the dance's theme.

The two watched the movie Tangled together in the specially decorated room.

"This meant the world to me," says Hailey.

"They even had these fancy glasses with ice chips for us to drink, since that's all I could have," she says. "It was great to just have fun."

The Riverton caregivers went out of their way to help make the evening special. The team looked up Hailey's school colors and did all the decorating. They even had a special corsage made for Hailey for the occasion.

"They made something that was really awful into a good and positive experience," says Hailey. "These nurses took such good care of me not just physically, but emotionally too. I feel like they're my friends and I trust them."

"It was awesome," says Holly, Hailey's mom. "They made it perfect. It was so kind and a very memorable experience."

"This was such a great evening for the patient and her family," says Karee Nicholson, RN, nurse manager for the unit. "The parents were so appreciative and tearful at the effort my team put in to make this night memorable. I visited them Monday and Hailey was still talking about it. I'm so proud of my team for going above and beyond to help our patients heal." 

The outstanding caregivers from the Primary Children's unit at Riverton Hospital who created a memorable experience for Hailey and cared for her during her stay included Bree Ponce, RN, Britney Russell, Jennifer McGee, Karee Nicholson, RN, Megan Jenkins, RN, Marlee Reynolds, Nicole Alldredge, Ronda Rhodes, Sara Hansen, and Glenn Huff, MD.

Hailey is back home now and feeling much better — and she plans to wear her homecoming dress to an upcoming school dance.