For almost anyone, being hospitalized can be challenging and at times a frustrating experience. It may be more so for a teenager who is forced to miss out on some of the normal activities with friends and peers. Things like going to the senior prom.
Oncology staff nurse Jackie Griffith, BSN, RN, didn’t want a young woman being treated for leukemia at Jefferson University Hospitals to miss out on that prom experience. Jackie had grown close to the 18-year-old patient during the course of her treatment and planned a “prom” for her.
When the patient became sicker, Jackie and her fellow nurses were forced to move up their plans for the big event. So Jackie and the staff quickly gathered decorations and all wore purple, the patient’s favorite color, for the special day. There was a tiara and prom dress for the young woman and everyone enjoyed food, music, and karaoke. The staff also created a photo album signed by each of them.
The patient was crowned prom queen and a staff member she selected was crowned as her king.
The prom was held on a Monday. The patient died three days later.
Jackie organized this prom in two days to make this patient’s dying wish come true. She spent her own time and money, and put an incredible amount of effort to give this patient something that she would otherwise not have experienced.
Jackie’s colleagues sought to honor her for her exceptional care and compassion for this young woman. In April, Jackie Griffith was presented a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses for exemplifying the highest standards of nursing and demonstrating the best of Jefferson and Jefferson nursing.