While most people have the natural instinct to help others in need, sometimes people freeze and don’t do anything at all, sometimes with tragic results. Part of it would be fear, especially if it’s a life-threatening situation. Other times, what’s in play is the bystander effect, where one thinks that someone else will step in.
Luckily, there are still people who are willing to act in the face of danger and don’t think twice about risking their own lives. An Italian lad named Valerio Catoia is one such person and he managed to save a pair of drowning girls because of that bravery.
That in itself is reason enough for admiration but what is even more applaudable is the fact that Valerio has Down’s syndrome. Yet he didn’t let his disability get in the way of becoming a hero.
Valerio has always shown an interest in swimming, even as a little kid. He always pushed himself to the limit in the pool and got so good at it that he even competed in the Special Olympics.
While enjoying the beach with his father at Sabaudia in the province of Lazio, Italy, little did Valerio know that something would happen that would call for his specific abilities.
Valerio was out with his father just soaking in the nice weather and cool ocean when suddenly, both of them heard cries for help from two sisters. One was aged 14 while the other was 10. They were clearly being swept out to sea by a strong current.
Without thinking twice, Valerio immediately plunged into the water straight towards the girls followed closely by his dad. He quickly reached the younger sister and performed a rescue maneuver that he had learned from a course. His father also did the same with the elder sister, reports ABC.
Both of them managed to get the two girls to shore while managing to keep the girls’ heads above water the whole time.
Lifeguard immediately stepped in to help the sisters once they reached shore but it was clear that Valerio and his dad were the reason those girls are alive today.
Valerio became a media sensation overnight and people have called him a hero. And he deserves every bit of praise that is being thrown at him because he managed to overcome his disadvantages and become someone who actually made a difference in another person’s life.
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