For Britny Beals, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
The Thatcher High School senior is settling into her final year of school before she goes to college.
State playoffs for her volleyball team are in three weeks.
And her peers recently selected her to Homecoming Court.
Excitement had been building in the town of about 5,000 for all the festivities. “Homecoming in Thatcher is more than just an assembly. It’s a production for the entire town. There’s a parade, and the whole town comes out to watch it,” said Beals.
During the same evening the Homecoming king and queen would be announced. Beals could hardly wait.
But then – earlier that day – she suffered a medical emergency and was rushed to TMC where she underwent surgery.
TMC Child Life Specialist Amy Rothenberg met Beals during pre-op and learned about everything she was missing back home. “I was heartbroken and very emotional about everything that was happening, and everything I was missing,” said Beals. “It’s homecoming of my senior year, and I’m stuck in the hospital.”
That’s when Rothenberg called in the troops.
She informed the Child Life team about Beals’ situation. Child Life Specialist Stephanie Mazze along with volunteers got right to work. Since Beals couldn’t be at homecoming, they would do their best to bring homecoming to her.
With poster boards, paint, a little creativity, and a lot of compassion, they transformed Beals’ inpatient room to look more like a pep rally. Everything was decorated, appropriately, in her high school’s colors: green and white.
She was even crowned like royalty.
“I started bawling when I saw what they had done,” said Beals. “It meant so much to me that they would do that. TMC’s Child Life Specialists are so incredibly nice.”
“It made our whole family feel so good that they cared,” said Beals’ mom, Patricia.
And although Beals didn’t win Homecoming Queen, she left TMC for Children with an experience that may shape the rest of her life. “Before I came to TMC for Children, I had no idea about Child Life Specialists and what they do. I was so touched by everything they did, I’m going to look into becoming one. I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field. That is a job I could do,” she said with a smile.