Lifestyle & Human Interest

Hospital Leaves Teenage Cancer Patient in Tears After Throwing Her Surprise Birthday Party


A teenager from Kentucky was moved to tears when she found out her routine check-up at the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute in Louisville was actually a surprise birthday party.

Angel Florian, now 18, has been fighting for her life since she was diagnosed with a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, in 2019.

According to WLKY-TV, Florian spent months in the hospital for treatment, unsure if she would reach her milestone 18th birthday.

When she returned to the Norton Children’s Cancer Institute for what she thought was merely a check-up, Florian walked into a small room and nearly burst into tears.

The doctors and nurses who cared for the teen during her treatment planned a surprise birthday party for Florian, decorating the room with streamers and bringing birthday gifts.

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The teenager enjoyed chocolate cake, read heartfelt birthday cards, and opened presents filled with candy she could not eat during her treatment.

“This birthday of hers wasn’t really a guarantee, you know. She was blindsided with a pretty tough diagnosis,” nurse Dean Harris told WLKY.

Harris explained that Florian’s diagnosis is not survivable without a bone marrow transplant.

“She fought and she won,” Harris said. “So this birthday is a gift and a miracle and a good reason for a party.”

Florian, who has not had the high school year she likely thought she would, was overcome with emotion knowing that her medical team truly cared about her.

“My nurses were singing happy birthday to me and it made me kinda tear up a little bit,” Florian said.

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As she opened her gifts, Florian realized the nurses remembered the small details about her personality and likes, such as chocolate, gummy bears and Kit Kat bars.

“These nurses at here at Norton Children’s Hospital and the Novak Center, they really get to know you and really get personal with you and want to be part of your life,” Florian told WLKY. “That’s something I don’t think you can find anywhere else.”

Florian said the party was the best birthday party she has ever had.

“Being surrounded by all my family and my second family now, with all my nurses and doctors, they’re family to me,” she said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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