Audra Daniloff, 17, recently got the surprise of her life when a cop pulled her over and gave her a ticket…to a concert.
Audra was in the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for 58 consecutive days starting in February 2013 and has been in and out since then. She was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a serious immune disorder.
“Her immune system was pretty much devastated,” her father, Marc Daniloff, said. “Her white blood cell count was incredibly low. She had a point where her chance of living was just 20 percent. But the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin saved her life.”
The Port Washington High School senior has been doing “a lot better” recently, even after a bout of the flu. “There have been some really rough patches in between when I was feeling really sick,” she said. “But other than that, I’ve been really good.”
Daniloff, a business coach, wanted to give his daughter a pleasant surprise after all the difficulties of the past two years. He asked local police to pull her over en route to school and give her two tickets. The police chief agreed, provided no emergencies came up to take precedence.
One ticket was to a concert by Audra’s favorite band, Timeflies, and the other was an airline ticket to NYC, where Timeflies was playing the final concert of its tour.
“Any father of a teen daughter will tell you, there’s a small window to amaze her, and I took advantage of it,” Daniloff said. “I wanted to give her the surprise of a lifetime. I didn’t think I’d ever get to see the look on her face when she got the surprise, though.”
Audra’s reaction was caught by the officer’s body camera in another surprising twist. The video shows a nervous Audra handing her license and car information to the officer. Her eyes widen in shocked amazement when he hands her the tickets.
“I got some good news, and I got some bad news for you, OK?” police officer Brendin Depies said. “The bad news, first, is I am giving you two tickets, all right? The good news is, they’re probably not the tickets you expect me to give you, OK? One is a ticket to New York — an airplane ticket — and the other ticket is to [see] a band called Timeflies. I talked to your dad, and that’s from your dad.”
Audra’s reaction is priceless. “You’re my favorite cop in the entire world!” she said, her face full of both shock and joy.
“It was definitely a surprise,” she said. “The night before, I obviously didn’t think I was going to the concert. Friday morning, I got the tickets. I was freaking out all day during school. Then, Saturday morning, we flew to New York. It was so awesome.”
Audra also got to meet the band backstage. “Honestly, these guys are the most genuine people I’ve ever met,” she said. “They care so much about their fans. They speak to me, all their songs. I can’t pick a favorite, because they have a song that [works] for every emotion that I have.”
For his part, her dad was surprised to see the video go viral. “I knew it was cool,” he said. “I just didn’t know it was that cool. You hear that phrase, ‘Oh my God, you should’ve seen her face.’ Her reaction was just so fun to see.”
“This is the first time she’s ever been pulled over,” Daniloff added. His backup plan was “to have the principal call her down to the office and make it sound really bad.”
“You know that saying that shared sorrow is halved and shared joy is doubled?” he concluded. “Well, this experience has been critical-mass joy. It was intended to be a great little story, but sharing it has moved it to a realm I never expected. It’s something really cool for Audra, and for me, to be able to bring joy to so many people.”
Click here to watch the video.