Hero Joseph, 10, rushes to younger brother’s aid during life-threatening seizure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2017

Freddie (8) and his big brother Joseph (10).

Freddie (8) and his big brother Joseph (10).


A 10-year-old boy has been hailed as a ‘brother in a million’, after his ‘outstanding bravery’ potentially saved his younger sibling’s life.

The De Gennaro family.The De Gennaro family.

Joseph de Gennaro grabbed lifesaving medication and equipment when his eight-year-old brother Freddie suffered a massive seizure at their home.

He sprang into action after hearing his mum Justine’s cries for help when severely-disabled Freddie suddenly started having convulsions while being read a bedtime story.

Brave Joseph then dialled 999 and helped his mum deliver oxygen to Freddie while waiting for an ambulance, before rushing into the street to wave a team of paramedics into their home.

Justine told the Mercury Joseph’s actions meant Freddie was not left alone during his hour-and-a-half long seizure – a move which could have saved his life.

She said: “It is so hard to sum up what Joseph did – it just shows outstanding bravery and support.

“What Joseph did was so important. I would have had to leave Freddie on his own to get the medication and he could have rolled off the bed, choked, stopped breathing – anything really.

“He is a brother in a million.”

Freddie suffers from a rare genetic condition called mucolipidosis type three, which can affect his bones and other organs, and also has severe epilepsy, autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

His seizure on January 7 saw him rushed into intensive care at Bristol Children’s Hospital, before being allowed home to Yatton last week.

Justine, who was at home alone with her children in Moorside while husband Adriano was out, also thanked paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service for their help – but it was her eldest son’s actions which she felt really warranted praise.

She said: “Joseph helped me with the oxygen while the 999 operator was on the phone telling me what to do and then when the paramedics arrived he went out into the street and waved them in. He was just asking ‘Mummy, what do you need?’ the whole time.

“We have been ever so worried about Joseph – he just wants Freddie to be OK. When Freddie came 
home they just sat with their arms around each other and it was so sweet.

“I also want to say thank you to the paramedics – they were fantastic, and we are so grateful to everyone involved.”

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