After son dies in car crash, dad takes late son's girlfriend to the prom

Cindy Arboleda

High school sweethearts Kaylee Suders, 18, and Carter Brown, 19, had lifetime plans together: graduations, wedding, kids, and retirement. Their most immediate plan was to attend Suders‘s prom and have an amazing time dancing the night away. Sadly, none of those plans will become reality. Carter died just a few weeks before prom night in a car crash. In light of the tragedy, Carter’s dad, Robert Brown, stepped in to make sure Suders had a magical prom night.

The sweet photos were shared on Facebook, gathering thousands of likes and comments.

It was so sweet of Robert to ask me. He was the one who thought of the idea and everything,” Suders tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

After Carter’s death, Suders had put off prom for good. She says the idea of attending the event without her boyfriend by her side was too sad to handle.

I didn’t want to go anymore, and when Robert said he already talked to the school about it, I realized how much he wanted to make me happy, so I knew I had to go! He made prom so much fun,” the teen says.

Photo: Kelly O’Neil Brown via Facebook
Photo: Kelly O’Neil Brown via Facebook

Robert knew how much his late son loved Suders. He knew that despite his already being a college freshman, he wanted to join his girlfriend for prom.

“Rob called the principal of the high school to first get permission to escort her. Then he asked Kaylee if he would allow him to take her,” Kelly O’Neil Brown, Carter’s mom and Robert’s wife, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They both had a great time. Kaylee had so much fun getting ready. They took Carter’s car and had dinner before the dance at the restaurant where Kaylee and Carter went on their first date.”

She adds: “I hope this will be a memory that she will cherish.”

Photo: Kelly O’Neil Brown via Facebook
Photo: Kelly O’Neil Brown via Facebook

O’Neil Brown says the family has been going through a difficult time, but this event brought joy back into their lives. Not only did they lose Carter, but one of their other three sons, Christopher, died just seven months earlier. He overdosed on opioids.

Before dating, Suders and Carter were best friends for three years. He had finally asked her to be his girlfriend at her favorite restaurant 11 months ago.

“Carter was so thoughtful and loving. I truly have the best boyfriend around,” says Suders. “His smile could light up the whole room. He had such a bright future ahead of him.”

Despite dealing with the loss of her first love, Suders is still determined to reach her goal of becoming a registered nurse. She and the Browns have formed an unbreakable bond, and she calls them her second family.

The feeling is mutual: “Kaylee has become part of our family. I know one day she’ll fall in love again, get married, and have a fabulous life,” says O’Neil Brown. “I hope to be there dancing at her wedding.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Daughter’s proud Facebook post about immigrant college-grad dad goes viral: ‘He’s truly the American dream’
High school accused of ‘exploiting animals’ after having tiger, other caged animals at prom
Parkland students celebrated their prom and those who are ‘dancing the night away’ in their hearts

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