A special place for teens at Covenant Children's Hospital

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Teenage patients at Covenant Children's Hospital now have a place of their own.

Kids receiving treatment at Covenant Children's Hospital can always spend time in the playground in their downtime, but teenagers who had outgrown this facility would stay bored in their rooms.

Now these teens have an area all to themselves.

It's called Teen Town, a lounge and game room designed by teens, for teens. Inside are flat screen TVs, a foosball table, a photo booth, art supplies, board games, snacks, a karaoke machine, a study room and much more.

"It's a place for them to come when they're not receiving immediate medical care," said Amy Thompson, Covenant Chief Medical Officer, "that they can come and decompress."

The ideas for Teen Room came from a teen advisory group Covenant assigned to the project. It took over a year to design the build, and yesterday afternoon they cut the ribbon for Teen Town and unveiled all their work.

Tyler Carmichael knows all too well the benefits this room will provide for teen patients.

"I just remember how bad it was," he said, "and now, it'll be better."

Tyler was diagnosed with leukemia at age three. He received chemotherapy for three years after that, and was cancer free until December 2011, when doctors discovered a reoccurrence.

Tyler has been in chemotherapy for about two years now, during which he was approached to help plan Teen Town.

Even though Tyler is about to finish his treatments and will no longer need to use Teen Town, he said he feels special to have been a part of it, like he is leaving behind a legacy.

Tyler's mother, Melba Carmichael, agrees that Teen Town is just what Covenant needed.

"It's such a blessing that this is going to be here for kids like Tyler that are here for more than a day or two," she said, "that they can come in here and just relax and like [Tyler] said, get away from the hospital atmosphere."

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