Video of teen taking prom detour to surprise her father brings boost to family business

She didn't want to take him away from his work on a busy Saturday.

May 14, 2018, 2:10 PM

High school senior Vanessa Macedo wanted to have the prom that most teens dream about but, she said, she didn't want to burden her parents with the extra cost.

Her father, Joaquin Macedo, was laid off from his job nearly two years ago after getting injured and had been selling fruit at a stand with her mother for the last month to make ends meet.

"I didn't ask my dad for money," said 18-year-old Vanessa Macedo of Tipton, California. "I didn't want to bother him ... I wasn't planning on spending any money on prom."

But in April, she was able to make it to her prom in a gorgeous floor-length floral dress and also helped bring her family's business a bit more foot traffic thanks to a viral video from that night.

Vanessa Macedo told ABC News recently that initially her senior prom wasn't something she thought would be happening for her.

She said the fruit stand was a family business that the family had just started and that it was their only source of income.

"They [her parents] work around 12 to 10 hours a day. They leave early in the morning and they don't come back home until six, seven," she said. "They work six days a week."

So, one of her three brothers offered to pay for half her dress.

Joaquin Macedo only speaks Spanish so Vanessa Macedo translated for him.

"He's sorry that he wasn't able to get me what I wanted. ... He loves me," Vanessa Macedo said.

Before his injury two years ago, Vanessa Macedo said, her father tirelessly worked to provide for his family.

"We would go out to eat and do something fun and it was just a good childhood. ... When he would work night shifts, he would spend all day with us. If he worked morning shifts, he would work all night with us," she said. "He was a hard-working dad. He made time for us a lot."

On the night of her prom at Mission Oaks High School on April 28, Joaquin Macedo was working at the fruit stand, so he was unable to watch her get dressed or take pictures with her and her friends before they left. She said he called her repeatedly at home to make sure she was getting ready to leave.

But, little did he know that Vanessa Macedo was coming to him, driving 25 miles to Porterville in a different direction, to surprise him. She said she didn't want her father to miss a day of work Saturdays were the busiest for the fruit stand.

"It was important for me to visit," she said. "I wanted to go see my dad."

And, she said, when she exited the car, her father was speechless.

"His jaw just literally dropped and I didn't even know what to say either," she said. "That was a good moment. ... He thought it was something really beautiful I did for him."

Vanessa Macedo's boyfriend took a video of the moment and she later posted it to social media for family and friends.

Not only did millions watch her video but Joaquin Macedo's fruit stand got a boost. The family said it has seen more customers, thanks to friends sharing the video.

Joaquin Macedo said that customers came to the fruit stand, saying, "I saw your video, which is the reason I came."

And, as for the prom, Vanessa Macedo said that night was incredibly meaningful to her.

"It's my senior prom so it meant a lot to me that I was able to go, that I got my dream dress, that I went with my boyfriend, that it was a good night and it was a lot of fun," she said. "It was such a good time and I really enjoyed it."