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Vacuum Salesman Gives Teen With Autism Special Birthday Present, Makes His Day

Fourteen-year-old Dylan Johnson has had a lifelong fascination with vacuum cleaners.

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Greene told BuzzFeed News that because Dylan’s interests are so limited, she always has a difficult time getting him a present he would love for his birthday. But this year she had an idea.

She sent a message to Kirby Vacuums, a vacuum cleaner manufacturer, and asked if a salesman would be willing to come to their home and perform a demonstration as a present for her son.


Kirby agreed, and on Saturday, one of its salesmen, Al Archie, came to Virginia for Dylan’s birthday.

Jodie Greene

Greene said she told Dylan a few days before the party about his special present, because she didn't want to catch him off-guard.

“[Dylan] was more excited than I have ever seen him,” she said. “It was wonderful to see true happiness.”

Jodie Greene / Via

Archie sat on the floor with Dylan and showed him how to attach the different parts of the vacuum.

“Mr. Archie was so surprised that Dylan knew all the names of the attachments,” Greene said. “He said that Dylan knew the names of the parts better than he did and he has been an employee of Kirby for 25 years.”

But Archie had one more big surprise for Dylan. At the end of the demonstration, he told Dylan that the vacuum was his to keep.

"I was so shocked, the first thing that came out of my mouth as I was sobbing was 'Oh my gosh, are you serious, are you kidding me?'" Greene said. "I think I repeated that several times. We were all crying. Happy tears of course; we were so shocked by their generosity."

A spokesperson for Kirby said on the company's Facebook page its employees were happy to participate in Dylan's big day.

"It was a privilege to arrange for the demonstration," the company said.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

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