On June 9th, 2012, 9-year-old Anthony Palermo slept over at his grandparents’ house. His grandmother is 81 years old and hearing impaired, and his grandfather is 84 years old and has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Typically Anthony wouldn’t have been staying with them, but his parents needed an overnight babysitter and decided that Anthony was old enough to spend the night. Anthony was very nervous that something would happen to his grandfather during his stay, but his parents reassured him that everything would be fine. Anthony was sleeping on the couch near his grandfather when, at 2:10 am, his grandfather’s breathing took a turn for the worse. He was not able to catch his breath and was in distress. Fortunately, he was able to wake up Anthony, who ran upstairs to wake up his grandmother. After minutes of yelling and pushing Anthony was able to wake her up. She came downstairs and found her husband in distress. Anthony and his grandmother called 9-1-1, the ambulance arrived and transported him to Strong Memorial Hospital in the ICU.
“Our family believes that if Anthony did not spend the night on June 9, 2012 his grandpa would not be here with us today. He would have been in distress until his wife woke up that morning. We are so proud of Anthony for saving our “dad”, “grandfather,” “great-grandfather”.” – Sue Palermo, Anthony’s Mother, from her nomination of Anthony