NEW HYDE PARK, NY – A dedicated team of doctors, nurses, social workers and Child Life specialists at Cohen Children’s Medical Center joined this week to make sure 13-year-old Itzia Argueta of Uniondale, LI, was able to celebrate her prom day, despite being in the hospital.
Stacy McGeechan, MD, Itzia’s attending physician, described her patient as “the happiest child on the floor.” So it was shocking to the doctor to find Itzia sobbing on Thursday. A brief conversation revealed that her prom was the next day. The eighth-grader was saddened that she would miss out on celebrating the big event with her friends from Turtle Hook Middle School in Uniondale. Itzia has been at the hospital since being admitted June 12. She is still being evaluated.
Armed with that information, Dr. McGeechan mobilized her team, who transformed the third floor playroom into a colorful party setting. Itzia’s family supplied a new party dress and told her she would be dressing up for fun. Her mother, Silvia; father, Henry; 19-year-old sister Erika; and 8-year-old brother Steve were all in on the secret and were thrilled to help organize the special event.
In a room crowded with fellow patients, doctors, nurses, social workers, reporters and photographers, an astonished Itzia was greeted by blaring music and a round of applause. While a nurse placed a tiara on her head, Itzia’s prom date, Dr. Greg Rosner (also one of her physicians) stepped forward and presented her with a wristlet corsage.
Speaking in Spanish, Itzia’s parents thanked the entire hospital staff for the wonderful care their daughter was receiving. Munching on a handful of donuts, Steve said that his sister looked very beautiful and that this was a wonderful day. Wiping away tears with her handkerchief, Itzia was often too emotional to speak.
“This is by far the best prom I’ve ever attended,” said Dr. Rosner, dressed in a black suit and snappy bow-tie and looking like a prom date straight out of Central Casting.
“I could never have imagined a more beautiful day,” Itzia said. “I am having a wonderful time at my prom.”
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About the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
Opened in 1983, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is home to about 675 pediatricians, including 200 full-time physicians, and a total workforce of more than 1,200, including more than 500 nurses. For the eighth consecutive year in 2014, CCMC was ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2014-15 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.