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Maddii recognized for courage in face of adversity

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    Team Maddii shows their support and admiration of Madelyn “Maddii” Quiroz at the Dayton Community Center.
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    Madelyn “Maddii” Quiroz addresses those in attendance of the unveileing of the bench and plaque honoring her courage and fight.
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DAYTON – In 2020, a horrific car wreck left Madelyn "Maddii" Quiroz paralyzed and in the fight of her life, seeking justice against those responsible and a flawed investigation by police.

Now the young Dayton woman has found validation and support from new leaders in the city of Dayton, and her family couldn't be more grateful.

Madelyn’s mother, Marina Quiroz, spoke with The Vindicator about new Dayton City Manager Steve Floyd and Police Chief Derek Woods and how they reached out to Madelyn and the entire family in their time of need.

"I want the world to know how great and honorable these men are," said Quiroz.

According to Quiroz, the two men visited Maddii in the hospital some time ago and genuinely connected with her and the family and made the young woman feel like she mattered.

Yet it is Maddii that Floyd and Woods felt needed to be recognized for her courage and great attitude in the face of adversity.

"Me and Police Chief Derek Woods met Maddii and the rest of the Quiroz family at the hospital in Houston several months ago. We had a few things to discuss with Mrs. Quiroz and wanted to meet Maddii. I took away from the meeting the great attitude and big smile that Maddii had throughout our visit," said Floyd.

In the face of such an uphill battle, working to recover from a list of injuries that on their own would be a tough battle, and for Maddii, it has been a constant fight to recover both physically and emotionally.

"I am honored to know Maddii. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets. Her courage and smile are contagious. I'm excited to see her continue to persevere on her road to recovery," said Woods.

Quiroz said after their visit, Madelyn told her that she finally felt validated that she has trust in Mr. Floyd, Chief Woods and Detective Dale.

Their admiration for Maddii led Floyd and Woods to come together with their families and purchase a new bench and a special surprise marble plaque in her honor installed at the Dayton Community Center.

"It would be easy, in her situation, to be bitter and negative; I never saw that. Maddii made an impact on both me and Derek. We wanted to do something to honor her great spirit," said Floyd.

Quiroz said the bench location was unique to Madelyn because she was supposed to meet in the parking lot across the street at St. Joseph's Catholic Church the day after her wreck for a Church youth retreat. Maddii was worried she would let her youth Director, Miss Virginia down and wanted to make sure someone let her know she wouldn't make it.

She also worried as she was heading into emergency surgery that she would need to quit the Dazzler dance team at Dayton High School, not because she wanted to, but because her team would need to fill her spot, and she didn't want to let them down.

"She was worried so much about others, and that is why she is my warrior princess," said Quiroz. 

According to Quiroz, during her family's most challenging times trying to fight for justice, both men stepped up and helped guide the situation to a true investigation and an arrest was made in the case.

"God put these two gentlemen in the position to help Madelyn, our family and our community," said Quiroz.

 Team Maddii was out in full force for the official unveiling of the new bench last week, where family and friends joined with Floyd and Woods for the dedication.

"She's a strong young lady that should be an inspiration to all of us," said Floyd.

This is not the end of the fight for Team Maddii, and we will sit down with the Quiroz Family and Members of LULAC Council 19 and Greater Houston Coalition for Justice for an in-depth look at the investigation, what went wrong, what has since gone right, and what is still to be done in the coming days. 

Look to The Vindicator for the whole story and subscribe today at or by calling 936-336-3611.