TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - While birthday parades may seem to have become the norm due to COVID-19, one today in Tyler was extra special.
Jair Egan was disapoointed he couldn’t do anything for his 16th birthday, so his parents asked a few of their friends to drive by their home. They got much more than they asked for.
“He’s turning 16, of course, but being autistic he doesn’t have a lot of friends,” said Francis Egan, Jair’s dad. “Just to have people turn out and show him the love that can be showed by the community for a special child.”
Jair now has more friends than he can count. His mother, Kimberly said at least 103 vehicles drove by with at least 150 people.
“Today, everybody drove through and gave me lots of presents and sang happy birthday,” said Jair. “It was very special and very kind of them.”
“A lot of his reactions were just shock and surprised because he didn’t know anything about it,” said Kimberly. “It was very hard for me to keep a secret from him.”
His surprise birthday parade consisted of jeeps, motorcycles, Napoleon, and an out of this world visitor. A Tyler police officer dressed up as a Star Wars character, dawned a light-saber and wished Jair a happy birthday.
“I’m feeling very grateful,” said Jair.
His parents said they want to echo his gratitude to the community members who came out.
“Thank you,” said an emotional Kimberly. “It meant a lot to me because that boy right there is my heart and I’d do anything for him, apparently. We just wanted to make it special for him, so I just want to thank y’all so much for coming together.”
Jair said next year he wants nothing more than to see smiling faces drive by in another parade.