When caregivers from the Primary Children’s Hospital unit at Intermountain Riverton Hospital learned Hailey Winn, a high school senior from West Jordan, Utah, would be missing her homecoming dance because she was in the hospital, they decided to bring the dance to her.
Hailey attends Copper Hills High School and she had planned to attend the homecoming football game and dance until she ended up in the hospital.
“I was really frustrated to be back in the hospital,” said 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. She had 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 said. “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 had pictured this night happening.”
But then the Intermountain 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,” said 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 all over the walls and ceiling. The nurses had also included other little touches like candles and pictures of tourist attractions from around the world to go with the dance’s theme.
Then Hailey and her date, Logan Christensen,watched the movie Tangled together in the specially decorated room.
“This meant the world to me,” said Hailey.
“They even had these fancy glasses with ice chips for us to drink, since that’s all I could have,” she said. “It was great to just have fun.”
The Riverton caregivers went out of their way to help make the evening special by looking up Hailey’s school colors to do all the decorating. They even had a special corsage and boutonniere made for Hailey and Logan for the occasion.
“They made something that was really awful into a good and positive experience,” said 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,” said Holly Winn, 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,” said Karee Nicholson, RN, nurse manager for the unit at Intermountain Riverton Hospital. “The parents were so appreciative and tearful at the effort my team put in to make this night memorable. I visited them days later and Hailey was still talking about it. I’m so proud of my team for going above and beyond to help our patients heal.”
Hailey is back home now, feeling much better, and looking forward to finishing her senior year – out of the hospital! She also plans to wear her homecoming dress to another upcoming school dance.
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.