A boy from Brazil is proving that you don’t have to have super powers to be a true hero.
According to the Brazilian news site Guarda-Sol, when 11-year-old boy Jean Fernandes noticed that his family’s small dog, Mel, had been struck by a vehicle in the coastal city of Itajaí, the young boy didn’t waste any time coming to the dog’s rescue.
“He managed to escape through the gate and I ran after him,” Jean remembers. “By the time I saw him hit he was in the middle of the street.”
As a line of cars sped towards the wounded pup, Jean ran to the animal’s aid, ignoring all thoughts of his own safety. Dodging oncoming traffic, the boy made it to his dog’s side. Jean carefully scooped Mel up into his arms and ran in between speeding cars to get them both to safety.
I took him in my arms and brought him home,” Jean explains.
Photographer Rafaela Martins captured the daring rescue with her camera. Photos show just how close Jean came to being hit by a car himself while desperately trying to save Mel.
Brazil’s News Agency of Animal Rights, Anda Agência de Notícias, was so impressed with Jean’s selfless actions they posted Jean and Mel’s story to their Facebook page. Since Monday, more than 1,200 people have “liked” the post, and hundreds of others have taken to the social media site with comments commending young Jean for being a role model to others.
“This little boy has more courage and ‘heart’ than the majority of men I know!” writes commenter Marion Natale. “God Bless you little one and the sweet dog you saved.”
“Amazing!!!” writes another commenter, Bella Anne. “It is nice to see a genuine human being with superb inner qualities being caught in the most respectable act of caring for another!! Applause and standing ovation for being a real life hero!!!”
Jean’s mother, Rubia Liliana Rose, wasn’t surprised at all to learn of her son’s lifesaving act. She says all of her three children have been raised to respect and love animals, and that Jean often finds injured or abandoned pets and brings them home. Mel was one of those animals, adopted by the Fernandes family when he was just a puppy, Dog Heirs reports. Though Mel loves the whole family, he shares a special relationship with Jean.
“We like to play ball together,” Jean says of Mel, who is still limping, but recovering from his injuries. “But he’s not playing now because he’s still in pain,” Jean says.