Country Star Cody Johnson Plans Surprise Visit with Dallas Teen

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Nineteen-year old Danielle Gray got the surprise of her life when Texas country music singer and songwriter Cody Johnson stopped into her hospital room in Dallas for a visit on Saturday, June 24. Gray is a huge fan of the artist and had bought a ticket for one of his recent concerts when she was advised that she would be in the hospital for no less than two weeks due to her cystic fibrosis. Having to miss the concert, Gray was heartbroken, but her savvy best friend’s persistence with social media saved the day.

Gray, who goes by Dani, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the tender age of three months. The Aledo High School graduate was looking forward to Johnson’s concert at the sold-out show at Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion. But, on Monday, June 19, her lung function wasn’t at a high enough level, and her doctor advised that she would be admitted into Cook Children’s Medical Center (in Fort Worth) for the next two weeks. Missing certain things due to her ailment hadn’t been anything new for Gray, but it was heartbreaking to know that less than two miles away from her hospital room, thousands of fans would get to see the show she had so excitedly waited for.

The Monday of her admittance, her best friend, Victoria O’Brien, made a decision of epic proportions. Due to all of the “misses” Gray had experienced, O’Brien determined that this time would be different and that Gray wouldn’t miss out on all the fun. O’Brien emailed Johnson’s management and set out on a social media campaign via Facebook and Twitter. In under 48 hours, his team had received word about Gray’s plight and began plans to surprise her in her hospital room.

Johnson was moved by Gray’s story, and with his concert taking place so close to the Cook Children’s Medical Center, a surprise Saturday visit was easily doable. As you can see by this video, shared by The Dallas Morning News on their YouTube Channel, the plan went off without a hitch. With the help of Gray’s family and friends, he worked out the best way to pop in on her and serenaded her in her hospital room. Decked out in his cowboy hat and armed with his acoustic guitar, Johnson opened the hospital room door and reached surprise success as Gray’s speechless and tearful reaction immediately displayed. When she was able to talk, Gray told Johnson about the other failed attempts to try and see him in concert that resulted from her diagnosis. Hearing her stories, Johnson joked that he was a “bad influence,” but said he was flattered and felt a little guilty about it, too.

After some discussion, and tearful joy from Gray, Johnson picked up his guitar, sat down on a small couch in the room, and began to perform for Gray personally. Some selfies were taken, a number of hugs were exchanged, and several stories were shared over the hour-long visit with Gray and her friends and family. After the singer left her hospital room, Gray felt lucky to have been so blessed by the efforts of O’Brien together with her family. Her positive outlook on life has been developed over the years through their support as well as seeing others with Cystic Fibrosis lose their battles. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News via GuideLive, she explained, “You have to just keep going and hopefully be an example to younger kids with CF that there’s hope. Because the more negative you get, the weaker you get, and that’s not who I am.”