Houston Methodist brings holiday joy to hospital patients

Performances included "The Nutcracker" by Houston Ballet dancers


By Britni R. McAshan | December 21, 2018

For Celia Hughes of Belleville, Texas, the past eight days have been a rollercoaster of medical challenges. Still, she made her way to Houston Methodist Hospital’s annual holiday celebration presented by the Center for Performing Arts Medicine Margaret Alkek Williams Crain Garden Performance Series. Pushed in a wheelchair by her daughter-in-law, the performances and decorations created a welcome respite from serious health concerns.

“It’s so festive around here,” Hughes said. “They’ve got me out and about in the hospital a lot and I love seeing all of this.”

After an unexpected fall last week, a scan found a tumor in her pituitary gland. As if that weren’t stressful enough, doctors also realized that in order to operate on the tumor, Hughes would have to undergo a triple bypass to clear blockages in her heart. Because of her health complications, Hughes will not be at home with her family for the holidays.

“We saw this on the calendar and we decided to meet tonight as a family so we could all enjoy it all as a family with Nana,” daughter-in-law Bethany Hughes said. “With the traffic and the fog, some of our family members couldn’t make it.”

Garland, ornaments and twinkling lights filled the large open space of Crain Garden. The traditional hospital furniture and dining tables were replaced by a springboard dance floor for the Houston Ballet.

“We are so grateful to the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet for coming today and celebrating and sharing their gifts with us,” said Marc Boom, M.D., Houston Methodist president and CEO. “The Center for Performing Arts Medicine truly believes that music, arts, dance and song are part of the human condition and part of the healing process.”

For the performance, the Houston Ballet Orchestra played the ‘greatest hits’ of The Nutcracker including the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” followed by a compilation of Christmas songs by Houston Grand Opera performers. Members of the Houston Methodist Choir took the stage and concluded the evening with Christmas carols.

Patients, doctors, staff members and visitors filled Crain Garden and its balconies to observe the annual gathering.

“It was a delightful performance and it makes me feel like Christmas is here,” Celia Hughes said. “I’m so glad they brought me down to see it. I would have rather seen it from a visitor’s point of view, but it is good to be here when this is where you need to be. It was a wonderful performance.”




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