Inspiring Teen Young Boy with Down Syndrome Who Saved 2 Girls From Drowning

The idea of risking one's life to save a stranger is very frightening, but sometimes we do not have time to stop and consider risk in the heat of the moment. A teenager was confronted with this very real scenario in which he had to choose between his own safety or to jump into the water to save another. He is now hailed as a true hero!

Valerio Catoia has Down syndrome, but that did not stop him from being the hero of the day! Valerio has always loved swimming and is even good at swimming. In fact, he has been swimming since the age of 3, when his family enrolled him in swimming lessons. Valerio used his skills to save a young girl from drowning.


The story of this everyday hero
Valere Catoia was born in 2000 and lives in Priverno, Italy. This youngster is a Paralympic athlete and his notoriety has increased considerably after his act of bravery. He demonstrated great courage, strength and generosity. He did not hesitate to jump overboard and save waves a 10-year-old girl who was at risk of drowning at sea in Sabaudia, in the province of Latina.

Valere, affectionately called Valerio, is in high school in the third year of the humanities. He is passionate about guitar and a member of a scout group. But its element is above all water. His passion has earned him many medals and a Paralympic qualification. Like what physical disabilities induced trisomy 21 can be overcome by passion.

His act of bravery
On the beach of Bufalara, Valerio was taking a bath with his father and younger sister. They all started screaming for help, cries of two girls in desperate danger. They have been carried by the current and have trouble getting back to the coast. Valerio and his father, lost no time and plunged into the rushing waters. Valerio managed to reach the youngest girl and used her lifeguard skills to keep her out of the water as he swam her back.

The people were amazed by Valerio who, despite the Down syndrome, was able to achieve such an incredible rescue!

Bravery rewarded
His act of instinctive generosity also earned him, last summer, special recognition at the baseball stadium "Steno Borghese" Nettuno. As a champion, he became "hero of the city". Sabaudia Mayor Giada Gervasi also phoned his parents. He said: "I was struck by the serenity with which the boy told me what had happened, a tranquility that has a taste for a healthy, pure and selfless altruism. "He told me that he had used the rescue technique he had been taught at the pool and was not afraid. It seemed like a perfectly normal thing! ".

On February 26, President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella handed the young Paralympic athlete the certificate of honor for the "Bishop of the Republic" award. It is aimed at girls and boys who have excelled in participation and the promotion of the common good, in solidarity, in voluntary service and in individual acts of courage.

With him, 28 other boys, all born between 1999 and 2007, "representing models of positive citizenship and who are examples of the many deserving boys in our country" were awarded the distinction. Youngest bishop, Francesco Barberini, less than eleven years old, born on May 31, 2007 in Acquapendente (Viterbo) and already expert in ornithology.
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