City honors young man with special needs on 16th birthday


PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A community comes together to celebrate a milestone birthday for a very special young man, who has overcome challenges many of us could never imagine.

Some would say he’s a walking miracle. DayQuann Vazquez was born at just 24 weeks, weighing a mere 1 pound, 7 ounces.

“He had multiple surgeries, multiple bone breaks, a few times I went and to go visit him and they told me the night before that DayQuann almost didn’t make it,” said his mother Sharon Vazquez.

DayQuann is defying the odds.

“DayQuann was a big fighter. He fought for his life. He made it and he’s here now. Sixteen years later, he’s big, strong and healthy…a beautiful boy,” his mother said proudly.

The teen with a big smile and an even bigger heart, confused as to why he can’t see his friends. 

“I wanted this because he’s not understanding the whole concept of Covid 19. He doesn’t understand why we have to wear masks and why we can’t have a birthday party for him,” said Vazquez.

His mother Sharon was not about to let his 16th birthday pass by without some kind of celebration. Her friend posting details about a birthday parade for DayQuann online.

“Everybody was tagging everybody…bikers, people with race cars wanting to join it. I was so excited to see how many people wanted to come just to drive by and show my son some love.”

Members of the Pawtucket Fire Department, friends, family and teachers came in droves. DayQuann even receiving an official city citation from Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebein – recognizing his birthday and sending well wishes.

“I never knew that DayQuann had that much love because a lot of people look at him differently,” said Vazquez.

The police medals you could see DayQuann wearing also a gift from members of the Providence Police Department.

We want to share your stories of kindness and compassion. You can reach out to me at or find me on Facebook or Twitter and we may share your story in the days ahead.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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