Michael Martinez, who relies on a wheelchair, heard a beeping sound from the carbon monoxide detector and alerted his family, likely saving their lives

By Joelle Goldstein
February 04, 2021 01:59 PM
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A 7-year-old boy is being praised as a hero after he managed to save his family from a carbon monoxide leak — against all odds.

Since Michael Martinez was born, he has been living with cerebral palsy and relies on a wheelchair to get around, CBS affiliate KHOU reported.

"I thank God he's here," his mom, Angie Martinez, told the outlet of her son, who was born at 27 weeks weighing just 3 pounds.

But last week, Michael defied the odds when he managed to crawl to his parents' room to alert them of a beeping noise he was hearing.

As it turns out, that beeping noise was the family's carbon monoxide (CO) detector — and had Michael not taken action, there is a chance they all would have been fatally poisoned by the odorless, colorless gas, according to the outlet.

"He's our little hero," Angie proudly told KHOU. "He saved our family."

At the time of the incident, seven of Michael's family members were sleeping inside their Atascocita, Texas home, the outlet reported.

Though Michael wasn't sure what the beeping noise was, he told KHOU he thought it was a warning and figured he should alert his sleeping parents.

"I was shaking because I was scared," Michael recalled to the local news channel.

After everyone had been woken up, the family reportedly discovered that the carbon monoxide was coming from their stove.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and deadly gas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are poisoned often experience headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Enough exposure to carbon monoxide can cause a person to pass out or die, the CDC reported.

Both Angie and her sister said they had symptoms of CO poisoning after waking up but thanks to Michael's quick thinking, no one else was harmed, according to KHOU.

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Though Michael is a hero to his family, his mom said he still faces challenges with his peers at school.

"Whenever I take him to school, the kids stare at him," Angie explained to the outlet. "He wants to play, and he wants to run like the other kids."

"We have our moments where we … Michael and I just cry and just hold each other," she added.

Looking ahead, Angie told KHOU she hopes to upgrade her son from a manual wheelchair to a motorized one — and one day, would love to see him walk.

"I don't want to be in a wheelchair," Michael told the outlet.

The CDC recommends that people install a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector in their homes to avoid CO poisoning, and to check the batteries each spring and fall.