It’s prom season, and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital had its own version on Saturday, June 11 for nearly 50 teens who are treated at the hospital. The kids danced under a white tent dotted with lights.
Erin Knox, 14, of Ronkonkoma was one of the attendees — she has autonomic neuropathy, which affects her stomach nerves and ability to hold down food and liquid, and Crohn’s disease, both of which are now under control. Her dress, hair, makeup and nails were done or donated by volunteers. She brought a friend, Joe Witek, 17, also of Ronkonkoma.
“It was so much fun. It was awesome,” Erin said. “They had great food. We were all dancing. It was such a positive environment.”
That was the kind of reaction the hospital hoped for. “It’s important for us to be able to invite them back to the hospital campus for a joyful celebratory event, ensure that they feel special, and let them loose with others who can relate to some of their most challenging life experiences,” Ellen Miller, associate director of operations at the hospital, said in a news release.
With 106 beds, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 8,000 children and young adults are discharged each year. Stony Brook Children’s has more than 160 pediatric specialists in more than 30 specialties.