West Boca Medical Center staff surprises patient with birthday party

SUBURBAN BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A group of doctors and nurses at West Boca Medical Center took on a different job Friday: Party planners. They heard one of their very special patients was turning 13 and is in the hospital on his birthday. So they surprised him with a party.

It wasn't what Ryan Zapeta was expecting when his nurse told him to get dressed and follow her.
"She said I was going to see Dr. Mateo, I thought it was something bad," said Ryan.

But instead, he walked into his new hospital room filled with balloons, cake, pizza, and all of the faces of the staff that cares and treats him at West Boca Medical Center yelling "surprise!"

"What do you think about this? Everybody, the hospital staff doing this for you?" asked WPTV's Michelle Quesada.

Ryan turned at the staff with a gleaming smile, "Thank you!" 

Now a teenager, he has three more weeks of treatment for an infection in his vertebrae and his doctor said because of the type of antibiotics he's receiving and the dosage, he has to stay in the hospital.

"He's right in the middle of this 6-week course so his home celebration wouldn’t be for a while, so we just really wanted to make this day special for him," said West Boca Medical Center Dr. Tara Harris.

Dr. Harris traveled to a galaxy far far away to find out what Ryan likes.

"Happy Birthday Ryan, may the force be with you," read Ryan from his birthday card signed by the staff. 

There's no question the hospital staff knew how to make a Jedi's powers stronger.

"I got cake, ice cream, some fruit, and pizza," said Ryan. 

Ryan's mom could not be more grateful for what the staff at West Boca Medical Center did for her son. 

"It's not the same when you're home with family and friends, but they made it seem like there's a big family here and he loved it. He was surprised," said his mother Ivonne Zapeta. 

Print this article Back to Top