Bone marrow transplant patient get 1920s-themed prom at hospital

PHOTO: Corinne Bass, 18, had her prom at Helen DeVos Childrens Hospital after she received a bone marrow transplant in Michigan.PlayTaylor Ballek/Spectrum Health
WATCH Michigan teen gets a special surprise after a bone marrow transplant

When Corinne Bass learned that her recovery from a recent bone marrow transplant would mean missing her senior prom, she and medical staff improvised to bring the party to the hospital.

Since August 2015, Bass had been battling aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder. At the time, she was a high school junior in Manistee, Michigan.

"Aplastic anemia is basically your bone marrow not working," she said. "Your bone marrow is failing and that means you are not producing platelets, white cells or red cells."

She began intensive treatments. After her family moved to Grand Rapids, Bass was told by doctors that she would need a bone marrow transplant. In February, she received marrow from an unrelated, anonymous donor and continued treatment at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

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During her lengthy hospital stay, Bass completed schoolwork, even receiving advanced-placement biology lessons at her bedside. She celebrated her 18th birthday at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

And, in March, with the help of her mother and the staff at Helen Devos, she planned her prom. It had to be held at the hospital, among a small group of people, to protect Bass from germs and infection.

"Since she was diagnosed, she has missed a lot of high school experiences," her mother, Heather Wilson, told Spectrum Health. "It's very important to get to do something like this."

She gave the party a "Great Gatsby" theme, complete with decorations, music and party favors.

The hospital's staff even got involved, finding Bass a dress as well as a limousine. Donning a sparkly 1920s dress, a headband, Mary Jane heels and yellow nail polish, Bass was first driven around in the limousine and then escorted on a red carpet to her prom.

"I think that they went beyond my expectations of what I thought it was going to be," Bass said of the staff. "I've been with them for so long that they're now like family."

Some of the staff also dressed in 1920s garb, dancing and toasting the day, and presented Bass with red roses.

"I have, like, this prom that I can remember," she said. "It's just really special ... It made up for the prom that I didn't get to go to."