#3. Eight-Year-Old Saves His Sister's Life More Than 20 Times
Eight-year-old Harry Flynn's little sister Isabelle has a terrifying medical condition. She was born too early and suffers from apnea of prematurity, a problem that causes her to just stop breathing virtually at random. Since breathing is considered a critical function of the human body, this makes spending any length of time around Isabelle a terrifying chess game against the eternal shadow of death. So, doctors gave the Flynns a device that sends out an alarm whenever Isabelle's lungs decide to stop working, in an effort to make their lives marginally less tense than a never-ending episode of Game of Thrones.
And hopefully with a much higher survival rate.
Unfortunately, Isabelle's periods of distress tend to strike when everyone is asleep, so the alarm usually finds itself ringing to deaf ears (evidently making the alarm louder is beyond the realm of possibility). Luckily, young Harry is a light sleeper. Despite being only 8, an age at which most of us still believed Superman was a real person, Harry has been through Red Cross training and knows how to perform the life-saving CPR that his sister needs to start breathing again. He's basically an expert at it by now, because he's had to do it over 20 times. Again, making that alarm louder must require the use of a diamond-powered laser beam or unicorn dust, because there's literally no other reason to make a little boy perform CPR on his sister that many times before the age of 10.
The first time Harry resuscitated Isabelle, he was only 7. Realizing the wisdom in making sure he wasn't the only one in the house qualified to come to Isabelle's aid, he decided to train his other sister, Molly (who is 5), how to do CPR as well, because holy shit. His parents are apparently goddamned grizzly bears that just hibernate for months at a time.
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On your way back from CPR class, could you pick up some salmon? Attaboy, sport.
Doctors don't believe Isabelle's condition is permanent, and expect her to eventually make a full recovery if for no other reason than she's been stealing her brother's breath like the troll from Cat's Eye for the past several years.
#2. Ten-Year-Old Catches Baby Thrown Out of a Burning Building
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Ten-year-old Zna Gresham of Atlanta was enjoying a typical summer day when her apartment building suddenly burst into flames. Being on fire tends to take all of the free-spirited whimsy out of one's summer vacation (unless you limit it to a few seconds at a time), so Zna ran straight outside. As she and the rest of her neighbors gathered out front, it quickly became apparent that not everyone had made it out of the building. One tenant was still trapped inside on the second floor with her three children, one of whom was only 1 month old.
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When push comes to shove, we imagine those onesies are a lot less flame resistant than advertised.
The smoke from the fire on the first floor was rising so quickly that the hallways were completely impassable. Desperate to save her kids, the panicked mother flung open a window and just started heaving them out like buckets of water from a sinking ship. The two older kids, age 2 and 3, hit the ground like toddler-sized sacks of potatoes. They were a little banged up, but more or less OK. This probably wasn't going to be the case for the 1-month-old. As the woman began dangling her baby out the window like the King of Pop, Zna realized shit was about to get real.
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Zna positioned herself beneath the window just as the woman released the infant to the 20-foot drop, and snatched the newborn out of the air like a Super Bowl MVP. The baby came out of the fall completely uninjured. Zna tried to downplay her role in saving the child, insisting that everyone in the building played a part, but that's bullshit. We didn't see any of them plucking an airborne baby out of the sky like a benevolent falcon.
#1. Four-Year-Old Scolds a Terrorist into Letting His Family Go
In September 2013, Islamic terrorists laid siege to a mall in Kenya, trapping hundreds of hostages inside to be indiscriminately massacred. As the tragedy unfolded, armed security services made their way inside with Red Cross workers to comb the building looking for survivors. Some of the rescuers were civilians carrying their own weapons. It was a horrific situation, but regular, blue-collar people responded to the crisis with selfless heroism.
And they all look like a bunch of chumps compared to a 4-year-old boy named Elliott Prior.
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When you've got nerves made of collapsed star, you can snivel whenever you damn well please.
You see, when the terrorists took over Westgate shopping mall, Elliott's mother was shot in the thigh. Thanks to either sheer naivete or his volatile toddler's temper, Elliott didn't give one twisted shit about how scary the terrorists were -- as far as he was concerned, they could spend the rest of the day feeding their guns to their own assholes. So the tiny British child confronted the gun-wielding terrorist and flipped the hell out, screaming at him for being "a bad man" and demanding that he and his family be allowed to leave.
The terrorist, having just been reprimanded by someone not yet old enough to go to kindergarten, apparently felt his heart grow four sizes that day. The embarrassed gunman gave Elliott and his sister some candy bars and agreed to let his family go. On their way out of the mall, Elliott's mom managed to grab two more children and pull them to safety.
"Yeah, thanks, whatever. I was told there would be candy ..."
As they left, the terrorist yelled some halfhearted apology, explaining that he and his compatriots were only there to kill Kenyan and American civilians (small British children weren't on their hit list, for whatever reason). That's right -- Elliott was so hardcore that he confronted an armed man with the specific agenda of murdering as many defenseless people as he could, got him to apologize, and walked away with free candy. We imagine that was the sweetest candy he's ever tasted.
Aaron Granger is a chemist and likes to write about science projects in his spare time. He updates his website, Impractical Science, roughly whenever.
Related Reading: Kids don't get enough credit, as John Cheese illustrates in this column on arguments parents can't admit kids are right about. Some children are just shockingly powerful, like these wonder twins of terrorism. For some of the creepiest things kids have ever been asked to color, click here.