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Lifesaving brothers

Boys' quick actions help save their grandfather's life after fall.

December 09, 2010|By Veronica Rocha,
  • Giovani Cereijo, 9, left, and his older brother Cristian Cereijo, 11, right, from Burbank, with their grandfather Reynaldo Martinez, 73, at Martinez' home in Glendale. The boys recently helped save their grandfather when they found him unresponsive on the floor. As Cristian called 911, younger brother Giovani went to get a neighbor.
Giovani Cereijo, 9, left, and his older brother Cristian… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

Brothers Giovani and Cristian Cereijo knew something was wrong with their 73-year-old grandfather when they saw him passed out on his home floor.

Giovani, 9, and Cristian, 11, both of Burbank, didn't overreact or panic, officials said. Instead, they immediately called 911 and got help from a neighbor.

"I was nervous and strong, but I was also feeling brave because me and my brother were saving my grandpa," said Cristian, who was on the phone with an emergency operator during the incident on Saturday.

Officials agreed that the boys' actions helped save their grandfather, who may have suffered from a seizure.

"This is my second chance for life," said the grandfather, Reynaldo Martinez.

The boys were visiting their grandfather Saturday while their mother and grandmother were running errands.

And like every visit, the boys played in the yard while their grandfather was inside making Christmas cards.

Reynaldo's memories of the events leading up to the seizure were a bit fuzzy, but he reportedly got up from his chair when he heard the mail carrier drop off some letters.


Moments later, Giovani found his grandfather on the floor and told Cristian, who was on the phone with his mother.

She informed the boys to hang up and call 911, which Cristian immediately did.

As he talked to an emergency dispatcher, he ordered his brother to notify a neighbor.

The operator, he said, told him their grandfather was likely having a seizure because he was shaking and saliva was coming out of his mouth.

Cristian relayed a series of instructions to the neighbor to ensure their grandfather wasn't bleeding or choking.

Children are given the same instructions that are relayed to adults, Glendale Fire Capt. Stuart Stefani, although the orders may be given in greater detail.

"Kids are pretty resilient," he said. "There are a lot kids out there that act like adults."

Paramedics eventually arrived and took Martinez to the hospital, where he remained for three days.

Incidents in which a child quickly responds to aid an ailing adult are rarely seen in the field, Glendale Police Officer Marc Mendoza said.

"The boys were able to have a plan to help their grandfather together," he said.

After the incident, Martinez said he called the boys to tell them he loved them.

"Every day, they are a gift to me," he said.

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