Mom Takes Selfies in Daughter’s Dorm and Regrets It

A mom thought it would be a great idea to surprise her daughter at college. Well the mother learned the hard way and regreted her decision.

Deanna Pilling thought it would be a cute idea to surprise her daughter, McKenna, at university a day ahead of schedule. A mom surprising their daughter at college is a sweet idea. If you are thinking the same thing we are, this was a terrible idea! Not one college student wants to be surprised by their parents. Deanna’s sweet surprise ended up taking a wrong turn.

Missing Her Daughter

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling

ABC News

Deanna and McKenna had a close mother/daughter relationship. When it was time for McKenna to attend college, Deanna was shocked that her New Yorker daughter wanted to go to Utah State University.

To say the least, the mom was heartbroken to have her daughter across the country. She knew that it would be the best decision to let McKenna spread her wings and leave the nest.

Surprising McKenna

younger deanna pilling and mckenna pilling

McKenna Pilling

The day before McKenna was heading back to New York for the summer, Deanna decided to do something special and surprise her daughter at her college.

Deanna would learn soon enough that surprising a kid at college is not a good idea.

Last Minute Flight Reservations

buying a flight

Searching for flights

Deanna thought it would be fun to show up in Utah a day earlier without telling McKenna.

Who doesn’t love a surprise from their mom?

Flying to Utah

plane flying in the sky


Without notifying McKenna of her arrival, Deanna booked a last-minute plane ticket from New York City to Utah.

She had no idea of the surprise she was about to get!

Missed Call

airport gate


Deanna tried to call McKenna before boarding her flight to find out her plans for the night. Unfortunately, McKenna did not answer.

When Deanna was boarding the flight, she hoped that her daughter wouldn’t have gone out somewhere.

A Five Hour Flight Later

university of utah

Utah State University

After being on a plane for five hours, Deanna landed in Logan, Utah. She was able to grab a cab and head to Utah State.

Deanna’s phone then rang.

Declining the Call

cell phone ringing

Phone Call

Her daughter was calling her back and Deanna started to panic. Since she did not want to ruin the surprise, she denied the call.

The mother was worried that if she answered, McKenna would start to catch on to her plan!

Visiting Campus

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling selfie

McKenna Pilling

The last time Deanna was on campus is when she moved McKenna in the fall semester. Nine months have passed since that time and when she got to campus, she felt a little lost.

She tried to remember where McKenna’s dorm was.

Campus Was Busy

university of utah campus

Utah State Univesity

There were a lot of students moving out for the summer, so the campus was busy with students and parents.

Deanna was looking around and she felt overwhelmed because the university was larger than she remembered.

Keeping Her Eyes Alert

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling smiling

McKenna Pilling

Deanna had to make sure she was not seen before getting to her daughter’s dorm.

She tried to look around cautiously to see if she spotted familiar faces.

Finally Found It

university of utah building

Utah State University

After wandering around the campus for quite some time, she finally found her daughter’s building. Once she was in the building, she spotted a few of Mckenna’s friends.

She recognized them through social media posts. Deanna was relieved because at least she found the correct building.

Entering Now

mckenna pilling

McKenna Pilling

Deanna hopped on the elevator and went up to McKenna’s floor. She was nervous.

This was the longest amount of time that they had gone without seeing each other. She walked to her door and knocked on it.

Is There Anyone Home?

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling standing

McKenna Pilling

Deanna stood outside while she waited to see her daughter’s reaction. She was hoping that her daughter would be happy to see her, but no one answered.

She knocked again, but there was no one inside the dorm room.

Going In The Room

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling smiling selfie

McKenna Pilling

Deanna realized the door was unlocked when she could jiggle the handle. The mother thought it was weird that McKenna wouldn’t lock her door.

But Deanna still opened the door, not knowing what she would find.

She’s Not There

room looking in


When she entered the room, she saw that there were a few girls packing up their stuff. Deanna said hello to them and went into McKenna’s room.

Her room as completely empty though, so Deanna was afraid that she screwed this whole plan up.

All Packed and Ready To Go

all packed up


McKenna’s room was spotless.

She removed everything from the walls and all of her belongings were neatly packed in boxes.

Getting Tired

Bedroom Decor

Deanna was exhausted after a long day of traveling. The only thing that was left in McKenna’s room was her bed that was still covered in blankets and pillows.

She thought to herself that it was a good idea to hang out until she returned. She decided to put down her bags, take off her shoes, and lay in her daughter’s bed.

Trying to Stay Awake

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling close up selfie

McKenna Pilling

Deanna then thought it was not a good idea if she fell asleep because she thought it would be a waste of a surprise. Instead, she came up with a better idea.

She was going to let her daughter know that she was on campus but in a classic mom way.

Smile For The Camera

Deanna Pilling, McKenna Pilling

Deanna Pilling

Deanna took a selfie of laying in McKenna’s bed and she knew that her daughter will be shocked that she flew all this way to see her.

And when McKenna replied, she was surprised, but not in the way that Deanna hoped.


deanna pilling text to mckenna

McKenna Pilling

McKenna asked, “Where that??” Deanna frowned at her phone. How did McKenna not recognize her very own bed? McKenna sent another text, “I’m in my dorm. Please tell me you’re not in someone else’s dorm.”

Deanna started to freak out. How could this be possible?

Plan Backfired

McKenna Pilling

Deanna bolted out of bed. If this wasn’t McKenna’s dorm, then where was she? She ran out of the room and halfway down the hallway. Deanna texted back, “I am in the wrong dorm omg.”

She made her way down the hall laughing at her terrible mistake.

Absolute Panic

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling black and white photo

McKenna Pilling

“I felt sick to my stomach because I’ve already said hi to several people in the dorm and they probably have no idea who I was,” said McKenna’s mother.

Deanna then laughed and said, “I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I didn’t even look at the name of the building. I could be in the wrong building!”

It’s A-Okay

mckenna pilling post on twitter

McKenna Pilling

Thankfully, the room Deanna set foot in was a friend of McKenna’s who lived down the hall from her.

Deanna’s daughter found the whole situation HYSTERICALLY FUNNY that she took to Twitter to post her Mom’s selfies and text messages.

Wait, What?

deanna pilling hugging mckenna pilling

McKenna Pilling

McKenna’s friend, the girl whose dorm Deanna had been in, didn’t know about the whole situation until a few days later.

“She commented on it and was like, ‘Is that my pillow?’” McKenna said. Right after, the tweet and photo went viral. The response shocked both Deanna and McKenna.

15 Minutes of Fame

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling on news


McKenna said, “We weren’t expecting anything of it, I just thought friends and family would see it but now it’s completely gone everywhere.”

The college student said that her mom was always filled with surprises and this one was the funniest. Deanna, on the other hand, was not too keen about all of the attention.

Getting A Better Photo

deanna pilling and mckenna pilling collage

McKenna Pilling

Even though it was a terrible mistake, Deanna was relieved that she had so many people laughing, including her daughter.

McKenna does have one issue though: “Every time I refresh my feed more retweets and favorites pop up, and now all my mom has to say is, “‘I wish I would’ve taken a better picture!'”

Wasn’t Over


Deanna still looked back fondly at the wholesome and somewhat embarrassing experience. But this wouldn’t be the last time a selfie of hers stirred up controversy. Thanks to a simple selfie, she had no idea her life was about to change forever.

It would be such a nonchalant thing that it wouldn’t impact her but rather the people who saw the photo. Then they would know the truth.

Forgot Everything By The Afternoon


Deanna was so busy one morning that she was on autopilot. She got dressed, brushed her teeth, took the fateful selfie, and forgot about everything by the afternoon.

She wanted to take some photos with her parents. She had thought a lot about them ever since McKenna had left for college.

No Response


Two hours after making the arrangements, Deanna’s parents began to worry. It wasn’t like the proud mom to ever be tardy for anything. No response meant there was trouble.

They knew that they had to do something. She was their daughter, after all. They decided to take action rather than sit around and worry.

Driving To Her House


After waiting for another 30 minutes, they couldn’t take it anymore. They decided to get the keys to their car and drive to her house. She wasn’t picking up the phone, so they had no other choice.

They punched in her address so that they could beat the traffic and get the fastest route. But would that be enough?

Hadn’t Heard Anything


Deanna’s parents were on their way to her house when they called her brother to come with them. He agreed to meet them at the house to make sure things were okay. After 10 minutes, the three of them were in front of her house.

They tried ringing her again and were met with the same answering machine. They were all worried about her.

Passed Out


While her family was outside, Deanna was passed out on her bed. She wasn’t stirring as they knocked on her door. Her parents used their spare key to get in and found her in that state.

They dialed an ambulance while Deanna’s brother grabbed her phone. It was lying unlocked next to her unconscious body.

A Selfie


He saw that she had taken a single photo dated to that morning. But when he examined it, his blood ran cold. He immediately sent it to himself as evidence and locked her phone.

When the ambulance arrived, they insisted on taking her to the nearest hospital. The family followed in their cars. What was wrong with Deanna?

Following The Ambulance


The family followed behind the red ambulance as it sped through intersections at blazing speeds. They all shared the same concern as one but didn’t want to say it out loud.

The selfie had left an impression on them. They didn’t entirely understand it but knew that things were serious.


Public Domain

Hours after being taken to the hospital, Deanna groggily cracked one eye open. The mom was now awake but couldn’t quite understand why she was in the ICU.

She noticed that she could only see out of one eye. She started to panic but calmed down when she felt an eye patch covering the one devoid of vision.

Couldn’t Remember A Thing

Facebook/Steph Farnan

Deanna turned to see a nurse watching over her. She asked for an explanation, and she smiled and asked her if she could remember anything. In truth, Deanna couldn’t remember a thing.

Then the nurse told her she was very lucky that she had taken the fateful selfie. Now Deanna was even more confused. What selfie? What was going on?

Her Family

Facebook/Steph Farnan

The nurse explained that she wouldn’t give her the full story herself. She would prefer that her family did. She walked out, and in came her mother and brother with worried looks in their eyes.

Deanna was on the verge of tears seeing her family look so concerned over her. What had happened that could have been this bad?

The Truth


Her mother explained that when she was late to their meeting and never called, they grew worried. They decided to check up on her and found her unconscious.

That’s when her brother pulled out his phone and scrolled through his photos. He finally showed her the one that would make all the difference.

A Stroke

Facebook/Steph Farnan

The photo in question was of Deanna posing for a selfie. But it was no ordinary photo. Her one eye was closed, and the one side of her face was blank. She had suffered from a stroke.

Tears welled up in Deanna’s eyes. But the photo ended up saving her life. Her brother would elaborate on how the selfie made such a difference.

Giving Them A Time


Oftentimes, doctors have to estimate when a patient suffered a stroke and act accordingly. But the more info they have to go on, the more confidently they can take action.

Knowing exactly when she had the stroke meant that they could prescribe exactly what she needed. This definitely made the difference, and her recovery would be quicker for it.

A Tablet

Facebook/Steph Farnan

The doctors specifically gave her a tablet that would clot her blood. The issue is that this tablet can be more harmful than helpful if it’s given too late. Thankfully, they could confidently give it to her.

Deanna was happy that she was okay, and her family was more relieved than anything else. Strokes can be life-threatening if not dealt with properly.

Full Recovery


A few days later, Deanna was discharged from the hospital, and the doctors told her that she would make a full recovery. She was very lucky that the event hadn’t affected her permanently.
Her daughter even drove up to see how she was. At the end of the day, everyone was happy that everything worked out okay.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.