Grieving Father Escorts Late Son's Girlfriend to Her Senior Prom


Kaylee Suders, 18, and Carter Brown, 19, were already planning their future together.

The couple had been dating for over a year, and although they were apart while Carter went to college, they were both looking forward to attending Kaylee’s prom.

But just one month before the big dance, Carter was driving home to surprise Kaylee for the weekend when he was involved in a fatal three-car accident. The teen collided with two cars, and tragically, he did not survive.

As prom approached, Kaylee decided she no longer wanted to go. But when Carter’s dad Robert heard, he knew he needed to do something to help.

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Kaylee was like a daughter to him, and about a week after the accident, Robert approached her school with a special request: He wanted to take Kaylee to prom.

“My son was a sweet, caring kid, and Kaylee is very sweet, too, and she is a part of our family,” Robert said. “When the passing topic of prom came up, I kept thinking my son would want her to go. That prompted me to get the ball rolling.”

After getting permission, he went to Kaylee and offered to escort her to the dance. The teen was so moved by the gesture that she decided to go after all.

“I was kind of surprised before he asked me, and it was really, really heartwarming,” she said. “I didn’t have to think about it. I definitely said ‘yes.’ It was so great of him to ask me.”

After Carter’s death, Kaylee had called the tailor making her dress and told them to stop. Thankfully, when she decided to go again, the tailor was able to continue and finish it in time.

Carter’s family wanted to make sure the evening was as special as Kaylee imagined it. They drove Carter’s car, ate dinner at the restaurant where they went on their first date and took pre-prom pictures holding photos of Carter.

“This gave us something to be excited about,” Carter’s mom Kelly said. “So that was also kinda a gift to have something fun to look forward to. It was big deal for all of us.”

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“We have four sons, and we lost our second oldest, Christopher, seven months before we lost Carter,” Robert said.

“Life will have all kinds of curve balls that you can’t control. You have to have strength and courage to move forward. We lost two of our children. Our circumstance happened that way. You just learn to be able to go on and live for and care for everyone you still have with you.”

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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