Although many people view Down syndrome as a disabling condition, one young man has shown that persons with the disability are nonetheless capable of saving lives.
Some of the most enjoyable activities one may engage in while on vacation include surfing and water sports. When at the beach, kids frequently engage in water play since they like it so much. The issue is that the water might occasionally be erratic. A young individual can be sucked into the center of a deadly wave in a couple of seconds.
When a 10-year-old girl and her family traveled to Italy for the summer of 2017, they went swimming at Sabaudia Beach. When the calamity hit, her guardians presumably briefly took their attention away from her.
A fierce current quickly entered and pulled the girl into a powerful current. The 10-year-old made an effort to resist it, but he was rapidly losing the battle. Another onlooker observed this while her mother did not. He was a 17-year-old adolescent named Catoia who had been swimming since he was three years old. Catoia possessed a number of additional exceptional qualities.
Due to his early swimming training, Catoia went on to not only take part in the Special Olympics, but also to have previously won medals. This is as a result of Catoia’s genetic condition, Down syndrome. He determined that he had to take action anyhow, not letting it in the slightest hinder his ability to assist someone in need. He instinctively set out to save the young child from drowning, acting bravely.
There were other people in risk that day in addition to the 10-year-old girl who was washed away by the waves. The ferocious current had also drawn in another girl, this one 14 years old. The girls were screaming as they battled to keep above the water, and Catoia and his father could hear it. The father and son knew if they didn’t act quickly, it would spell tragedy for the young girls and their families, even though it’s generally not a good idea for bystanders to get involved in such dangerous situations.
Catoia stepped in to assist the girls before a rescue squad could arrive and start taking action since he was confident in his swimming prowess. Additionally, he had completed a first aid course where he learnt how to hold her head securely above the water. Together with his father, who had also dove into the sea, they were able to safely bring the girls back to land just before the rescue crews arrived.
His exploits were much praised when they were published in Catoia’s native Italian. At the time, Catoia was honored for his work by Matteo Renzi, the prime minister of Italy. He declared that the young guy should be celebrated throughout Italy for standing up for what was right in the face of opposition. He was then given a commemorative plate, a medal, and the title of “Solidarity Champion of Italy” by Sports Minister Luca Lotti. Olympic swimmer Stefano Battistelli and Luca Pancalli, the head of the Italian Paralympic Committee, also attended the ceremony to pay tribute to Catoia.
Despite the attention, Catoia insisted that he hasn’t changed and that he will continue with his scouting endeavors and academic studies. He concluded on an uplifting note by saying that it is his abilities, not his limitations, that define him.