Have you ever risked your own life to save someone else?
No? Don’t worry, there aren’t many who have.
One who can proudly say he sits on the other side of the fence, however, is Valerio Catonia.
Not long after Valerio was born, his parents were told that he had Down’s syndrome.
By the time he was three-years-old, he’d joined a swimming club to improve his strength and stamina.
As a result, he quickly became an accomplished swimmer.
Valerio not only won medals in the pool, but also completed a first-aid course that would prove of critical importance to two young girls.
As per Italian outlet Redattore Sociale, Valerio saved the lives of the girls, one 10 and the other 14.
One day, when Valerio was at the beach with his dad, he suddenly heard cries of distress coming from the sea.
When he located the source of the noise, he saw that two girls were caught in a violent current. They were being dragged under the waves and pulled away from the beach.
Valerio acted without hesitation; he knew he didn’t have time to wait for professionals. He and his father leapt into the water and swam to the girls. Valerio grabbed the 10-year-old, taking a firm hold on her neck and swimming her back to safety. His dad was able to rescue the elder girl.
People all over the world are now celebrating Valerio for his bravery – he even received a medal from the Italian Sports Minister.
Being hailed a hero is not just recognition for Valerio, but for people with Down’s syndrome all over the world.
Take a look at the video below to see Valerio being handed his medal:
If this story put a smile on your face, share it with friends and family on Facebook. Help us pay tribute to Valerio and his heroic actions!