Unlikely Hero: Boy with Cerebral Palsy Saves Family from Carbon Monoxide Leak

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As the old saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. Most of the time, they come in different shapes and sizes, as the Martinez family recently learned.

According to KHOU-TV, a 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy saved his Texas family from a carbon monoxide leak in January.

After interviewing the boy’s mother, Angie Martinez, the outlet found that the boy has been “nothing short of a miracle since the day he was born.”

Michael Martinez was born prematurely at 27 weeks, weighing only three pounds. While his cerebral palsy forces him to use a wheelchair, Michael’s inability to walk did not stop him from being the hero his family needed.

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Seven of his family members were sleeping when Michael woke up to a beeping sound. The child did not know what the noise was, but his instincts told him something was wrong, and he crawled to his parents’ room to warn them.

“I was shaking … I was scared,” Michael said.

The beeping that Michael heard was the family’s carbon monoxide detector. The odorless gas had started leaking from the Martinez’s stove, and no one knew.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that can overwhelm people within minutes, leading to loss of consciousness or suffocation. Since it is nearly impossible to know the gas is there without a detector, some people breathe in the fumes without realizing it.

If Michael had not alerted his family that night, it is likely they all would have died in their sleep.

“He’s our little hero. He saved our family,” Michael’s mom said.

While Michael resembles many kids his age with his love for wrestling and dislike of school, he has had to overcome more challenges than most due to his disability.

“Whenever I take him to school, the kids stare at him. He wants to play and walk and run like the other kids,” Angie Martinez said. “We had our moments where me and Michael just cried and just held each other.”

Michael currently uses a hand-operated wheelchair, but his family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a motorized one. As of now, the fundraiser has netted over $5,000 since it began on Feb. 4.

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If anything, Michael’s story should defy the discriminatory view many in society have of the disabled. The unfortunate truth is some people with a physical or mental handicap only know a life full of suffering.

Even if someone’s life is a little more complicated than most, individual differences cannot determine one’s worth. And it is time to stop defining people’s value based on the unique struggles they may encounter.

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