No doubt, Taylor Kirkwood, 18, was the envy of most girls at the Anahuac High School prom in Baytown, Texas, on April 12 when she showed up in a beautiful pink dress with Christine Michael, a running back for reigning Super Bowl champ Seattle Seahawks.
"It was the most magical night of her life," Kirkwood's mother, Stacie Holmes, tells PEOPLE. "He was the perfect gentleman. He took her out to dinner before, posed for photos and made the night all about her."
"I'm just here for Taylor," Michael, 23, told Houston's KPRC-TV at Kirkwood's home on the night of the prom, which was held at Goose Creek Country Club. "It's a blessing. Like I said, she's a beautiful kid. I'm very proud of her."
The date was arranged by Holmes, who reached out to the former Texas A&M running back and asked if he was available to accompany her daughter, who has autism.
"I was just like, we'll see what happens," Holmes told the station. "I know he's busy, and I wasn't sure if he could." Holmes later learned that she had a connection to Michael – he went to high school with her cousin about 50 miles away.
For her part, Kirkwood, who also suffered from scoliosis for much of her young life until she had surgery a few years ago, was clearly smitten with her dashing date.
"I think he's cute," she told KPRC-TV with a smile.