A Night of Glitz and Glamour for Stanford Children’s Patients

It was a day 22-year-old Khalieghya Dandie-Evans had been looking forward to ever since she saw the flyer on Instagram.

“I woke up and was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m ready for prom,’” she said.

On May 31, prom returned to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Child Life and Creative Arts team, along with volunteers, transformed the hospital’s Dunlevie Garden into New York City’s iconic Central Park so teen patients could experience a time-honored high school tradition.

“Our patients are going through some complex medical challenges, and we want to make sure that even though they’re in the hospital, they can still experience the same traditions as their peers,” says Carrie Midwin, Child Life manager.

Patients showed up in their very best, donning full-length gowns and handsome suits with bowties to show off their moves on the dance floor. Not only were there fun games with prizes, a custom jewelry bar, and a caricature artist, but there was also a surprise performance from a Bay Area dance group, Str8jacket. Patients and their guests made sure to stop by the photobooth to commemorate the special night.

Events like prom help hospitalized children have a sense of normalcy while undergoing medical treatment. This can have a positive effect on their outlook and provide a welcome distraction as they celebrate rites of passage.

Khalieghya says she enjoys attending hospital events because it allows her to reunite with hospital friends. A staunch advocate for organ donation, she is very familiar with what life is like inside the hospital. She has been a patient at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health since she was a baby, receiving a liver transplant and follow-up care for her medical issues.

“It’s a great feeling being here tonight,” Khalieghya said. “I didn’t go to my senior or junior prom. I feel more connected at events at the hospital because I can meet other people who have been through medical journeys like me.”

The ‘Night in New York City’ prom was made possible by the contributions of generous volunteers and donors, including the Ambassadors for LPCH, Roth Auxiliary, Association of Auxiliaries, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health Board members, Kendra Scott, and Dunkin’ Donuts Redwood City and San Carlos.


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