Community comes together after medical crisis sidelines young couple’s prom night plans
RIVERSIDE, Calif., — Described by family and friends as “inseparably in love”, when Julius and Amarah met in 2009 as kindergarten classmates, they never could have known at the time that they would someday fall in love and end up with plans to go to their senior prom together. Nor could they have ever predicted that their big prom night plans would be sidelined at the very last moment due to Julius suffering a serious health crisis.
However, with the help of their families, community, and local emergency response agencies the young lovebirds were able to enjoy their own, at-home prom last night – complete with a law enforcement and fire department escort and Amarah being brought to her special night in a highly customized Riverside Police Officers’ Association muscle car.
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Julius, a senior at Poly High School, and Amarah, a senior at Martin Luther King High School, had intended on attending Amarah’s prom when he noticed “a sudden and large mass” growing on the side of his neck and later discovered another above his heart just days before their scheduled big night.
According to the couple’s family and a Riverside Police Department social media post, after undergoing surgery to remove the neck tumor and do a biopsy on both tumors the day before their prom, Julius was allowed to come home but was saddened to learn he would not be able to take Amarah to her prom, while still awaiting the results of his biopsies.
Amarah was all smiles after being picked up for her prom in a Riverside Police Officer’s Association 730 horsepower Saleen Mustang. Riverside PD photo
Since Julius’s condition and medical crisis prevented him from being able to attend the couple’s prom, and since Amarah refused to leave his side to attend the prom alone, the young couple’s parents and families decided to take matters into their own hands and planned a last-minute surprise at-home prom for the pair and reached out to their community for some help.
Springing into action, their community quickly came together and helped supply decorations, food, flowers, and even a professional photographer for the couples’ big night.
But that wasn’t enough for City of Riverside police and fire personnel, who decided to join the effort to make the couple’s evening as memorable as possible, with RPD later saying, “If this beautiful young lady is going attend an at-home prom, we gotta get her there in style, and you can’t get any more stylish then showing up in the Riverside Police Officers’ Association 730 horsepower Saleen Mustang, right?”
Along with Riverside Fire Station 10 firefighters, Amarah was transported in style – complete with lights and sirens – to her special one-of-a-kind prom night, which we’re told was a huge success.
Despite Julius suffering a medical crisis just days before he and Amarah were scheduled to attend their prom, family, friends, and community members pulled together at the last minute to ensure that the young lovebirds would be able to enjoy the best prom possible. Riverside PD photo
After their big night, Amarah’s mom Nicole – who helped bring the couples’ plight to the attention of her community with a social media post asking for help and supplies – described the couple’s last-minute prom a huge success, enthusing online, “Thank you all so much for everything! Today was beyond anything we could have dreamed for our kiddos!!”
This morning, Nicole went on to tell RCNS, “We were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our community.”
“We reached out hoping for a few decorations and maybe some extra lights, and instead our kids had the best night of their lives,” she continued, adding, “Riverside is a big city but everyone’s support made it feel like a small town.”
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Saying, “No one can imagine the emotions they are feeling right now,” RPD went on to ask that the community continue to keep Julius, Amarah and their families in their thoughts and prayers as Julius awaits the results of his biopsy and the course of action to “get him back to his normal athletic self.”
“Thanks for letting us be just a little part in what our wonderful community and Julius and Amarah’s families did for their own special prom,” RPD went on to say, adding, “And for all those high school students elsewhere attending prom right now and over the next few weekends, BE SAFE, BE APPROPRIATE, AND BE RESPONSIBLE!”
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Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.