DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Trading hospital gowns for gowns that sparkle.
It was just part of the springtime magic happening at Children’s Medical Center Dallas Thursday evening.
Teenage patients get to party at their very own prom!
“I never thought I’d be able to experience going to prom,” shared Shania Ingram, 17, in a soft, shy voice. “So I was excited.”
Ingram’s health forced her to withdraw from school and take classes online. The prom, she says, has been a dream come true. “I saw the dresses and I got really excited!”
Patients turned prom-goers could take their pick of racks of gorgeous donated gowns.
There were tables full of accessories, wraps and corsages. Once decked out, patients were even treated to a quick ride around the hospital parking lot in a fancy car.
“They’ve gone above and beyond,” says Stephanie Ammons, a patient’s mother who fought to hold back tears.
“It’s a huge blessing,” added Ammons. “She’s had a pretty rough go with some of the adjustments and getting to feel that she’s normal, again, is amazing. That’s all she’s talked about: is getting to be normal and this gives her one of those normal situations.”
The only criticism daughter Rylie could muster, in between giggles and getting fussed over by a team of volunteer stylists from Toni & Guy, was that she wished she could have invited more friends.
“It’s really exciting,” shared Rylie, 13. “When I told my friends about it, they thought I got invited to a high school one and I had to explain that it was because of my transplant.”
So yes, there were reminders of the serious medical issues that these young patients still face. Some got hair and makeup done while wearing masks, or with bandages covering treatment ports, but the enthusiasm for a night of normalcy was absolutely contagious. In the best way.
And then there was the gratitude for all the sacrifices that brought them to the beautiful event.
“It’s been a blessing,” explained Stephanie Ammons, her eyes filling with tears in spite of her daughter’s warning not to cry.
Her thoughts as they often do, drifting to the donor family’s sacrifice, that allowed her to celebrate a prom with her daughter.
“Seven years I’ve had, that someone else didn’t get with their kid. She makes sure that every moment she lives, is in honor of that gift she was given, and she doesn’t disappoint. Ever.”
So along with the dancing, food, glitz and glitter, gratitude was the belle of the ball.
“Thank you,” says Ingram. “Because you’re making the dream come true for all of the young girls that hasn’t gotten to experience going to prom. Thank you guys.”