A Philly high school senior is describing his prom as "epic," which is probably still an understatement considering what his mom forked out for it. WTXF reports that Saudia Shuler had originally wanted to send son Johnny Eden Jr. to Dubai as a graduation gift, but serious health problems on her end (including a cancer diagnosis and a stroke) put those plans on hold—so instead she spent $25,000 to lend a Dubai feel to his big prom night. That over-the-top UAE ambience included Johnny's three dates, who accompanied him to the prom in a succession of luxury vehicles (a Lamborghini, a Range Rover, and a Rolls, to be exact), multiple stylist-assisted outfits, and a pre-prom block party complete with 3 tons of sand and … a camel, rented from an Ohio farm, per Billy Penn.
"I was just trying to pay honor [to] my son, because he is such a good kid," Shuler tells CBS Philadelphia, adding that her son, whose dad was murdered when he was young, boasts high grades and plays basketball. She also wanted to give a nod to his Muslim faith (she isn't Muslim herself), which helped him when she was extremely ill. "My son took it real hard," she says. "[His faith] is what kept him strong." She's still combating various health issues, but she says that during the worst of it she had vowed to go all out for her son's prom and graduation if she lived to see it—and she has no regrets, despite critics saying she overindulged. Johnny, who says he doesn't like being the center of attention, at first thought the whole thing was a bit much, but he now thanks his mom for a night he'll never forget. "It was epic, man," he tells CBS. "My mom was the real MVP." (One school handed out condoms at prom.)