Wolcott student rescued by veteran able to walk again

New Haven

A Vietnam veteran became a hero again when he and the mayor of Wolcott rescued a Wolcott High School student from a fire at the student’s house in December.

Jamil Lawrence calls both of them his angels.

“Thank God you guys got me out,” Jamil told both men in December.

Jamil couldn’t move when the fire broke out because he had suffered leg injuries while playing football. He’s a member of the Wolcott High School football team. The mayor and Vietnam veteran, Paul Wozniak  were driving by and banged on the front door after a neighbor told them he thought someone might be inside. They got in and ran upstairs to carry Jamil out.

On Friday, for the first time since the fire and the rescue, only News 8 was there when Wozniak reunited with Jamil and saw Jamil stand on his own again and walk towards him.

“It’s good to see you up and around,” Wozniak told Jamil. “That’s great.”

Jamil said he was determined to try to walk again in time for him to receive his diploma at Wolcott High’s graduation ceremony in two weeks.

“I’m doing real well,” said Jamil. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Jamil’s mother is grateful the mayor and Wozniak were there for her son.

Related: 5-year-old Ohio boy with spina bifida walks at preschool graduation

“By the grace of God and two angels who happened to be in the right place at the right time, I’m going to be able to see my child — my last one — walk,” said Anna Marie Fraioli, Jamil’s mom.

This will be the fourth time Fraioli will get to see one of her children graduate from high school. She admits because of what happened, this one will be a little extra special.

She started to comment, and then she was interrupted by tears.

“When he just started standing up and walking…” she said.

The next steps in Jamil’s educational career will be going to college at Post University in Waterbury in the fall.​​​​​​​

“It makes me feel good that he’s going to be okay,” Wozniak said.


Free download: Access Connecticut breaking news, weather, stream newscasts live and more on-the-go with News 8 alerts directly to your phone.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

New Haven

Police arrest 3 suspects in armed carjacking in New Haven

News /

New Haven police investigate shooting on Edgewood Avenue

News /

Yale doctor explains how dangerous, more contagious COVID-19 variant strains are

News /

Hamden man accused of ramming police vehicle during chase

News /

Bone marrow donor registry drive held in New Haven to help 5-year-old with leukemia

News /

Floyd Little Athletic Center now one of Yale's COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites

News /
More New Haven

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss