KMBZ shares cheerful updates on two local newsmakers

April 20, 2018 - 6:58 am
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Last Friday night's inaugural prom at Children's Mercy Hospital was a big success, according to the organizers and the young patients who took part.

The hospital's special events staff realized that kids who are dealing with diseases often cannot make it to their regular school prom or feel uncomfortable around kids who don't understand what they're going through.

It was so good," said Alyssa, a 17-year-old  who receives in-patient treatment at Children's Mercy. "I had, literally, the best time of my life."

Parents filled out a survey the night of the prom, said Trista Williams, Child Life Program Coordinator at Children's Mercy, and our Person of the Week on April 13.

"One of the surveys that stuck out was a mom that said her daughter was excited to come to this prom because she knew she could show off her scars and she wouldn't be judged here," Williams said.

Some members of Sporting KC, the local MLS soccer team, showed up for the dance. One of the teams stars, forward Khiry Shelton, served as Alyssa's date.

"He's one of the nicest people I have ever met," Alyssa said. "He was super sweet."

Williams had high praise for the Sporting players.

"They walked down the red carpet with them and they hung out with their date the entire night," Williams said. "(They) made them feel pretty, made them feel special."

Several prom dresses were donated and fitted, girls received hair and makeup, a local tuxedo shop provided formal wear and a professional DJ handled the music.

An Update on Jack Palmer

The parents of little Jack Palmer, our Person of the Week on March 23, celebrated his 3-month birthday this week.

Jack's condition has stabilized as he waits for a heart-lung transplant. His parents, Tiffany and Chuck, commute between Kansas City and St. Louis. They continue to enjoy their baby boy while the face the knowledge that he won't live long without a transplant, and infants who have undergone the procedure have not survived. 

"He looks around the room, he kicks his legs, he moves his arms," Tiffany said.

He interacts with his toys, too. 

"He has an octopus, it kind of winds up and plays music," Chuck said. "If you move that thing anywhere around his crib he will track it everywhere it goes."

Jack's parents know his condition remains very serious, but they feel strengthened in knowing his condition has stabilized.

"The physicians continue to tell us we're in uncharted territory," Chuck said. "Most children don't make it this far."

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