Now this is what I call a hero! In Italy, a 23-month-old boy fell from a second-floor window. Luckily, Luigi Barbanera was walking by at the exact moment the toddler fell. Talk about amazing timing!
Barbanera is a former goalkeeper and now a penitentiary officer. He saw the toddler leaning over and quickly moved to get underneath the ledge in case anything happened. Passersby told the boy to stay on the ledge, but he ended up falling. Since Barbanera was right beneath him, he was able to catch the boy.
Maybe Barbanera's reflexes from being a goalkeeper helped him out, but what an incredible, heartwarming story. There's no doubt that the boy could have been seriously injured had Barbanera not stepped up and put himself in the right position to catch the boy as he was falling. Barbanera could have even been injured as well. It's so refreshing to see that there are still some good Samaritans out there in the world!
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Both Barbanera and the boy were knocked to the ground, but apparently Barbanera's body was able to cushion the boy and, fortunately, neither was injured. Reportedly the toddler's mother left him sleeping while she was hanging up her laundry.
"To tell you the truth, in the moment I felt completely powerless. I didn't even know what I would do. Five minutes passed before I saw the baby move its leg forward wearily and fall," Barbanera told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Of course, he's now seen as a hero in Italy, and he should be seen as a hero everywhere. He's expected to receive a commendation from Italy's minister of justice and will also be considered for a merit award that's given by the mayor. And I'm sure the little boy's mother will do anything she can to award this man for his very kind, altruistic deed.
But Barbanera, as true heroes are, was totally modest about the whole thing. "Fate made me pass by the road at that time," he told Corriere della Sera. Such a sweet sentiment and there's no doubt that fate and really good timing played a role in this inspiring story.
Out of all the catches he made while goalkeeping, this will probably be the most memorable one he'll ever make. Glad everyone is okay and that Barbanera is getting the commendations he so rightfully deserves.
How could you even begin to show your gratefulness toward someone who saved your loved one's life?
Image via Dominic Alves/Flickr