Jade Small
Jade Small
December 19, 2023 ·  3 min read

Boy, 5, Ran to Neighbor’s House with Infant Sister to Ask for Help After Mom Suffers Seizure in Shower

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too memorable, too beautiful, or too touching to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little something to your day.

Having a seizure is scary, not just for the person experiencing it, but for those around them as well. Knowing what to do when someone has a seizure is also extremely important. This little boy, aged five at the time, helped save his mother’s life by doing the right thing, smart little chap!

Quick Thinking Saves Mom Who Has Seizure

In 2017, Katelyn Cicalese, an Arizona mom to two, put her children to bed so she could go have a shower. Unfortunately the unthinkable happened and Katelyn suffered a seizure while washing. She hit her head and was bleeding while the water ran over her.

Luckily for Katelyn, her five-year-old son, Sal, heard her fall. Sal got himself out of bed to see what the noise was when he found his mom slumped and bleeding from the head. The smart little guy was worried his mom was dead and decided to spring into action. Sal went to fetch his two-month-old little sister from her crib and even wrapped her in a blanket, he then put her on the couch and made his way into the garage. Using a stool he dragged from the kitchen, he managed to reach the button to open the garage door.

5 year old Sal and 2 month old sister

Sal went back inside to get his sister and made his way to a neighbors house to get help for his mom. He found himself on the doorstep of Jessica Penoyer and frantically knocked on her door. Penner says at first she thought that the little boy’s dog had died and that she had thought he was holding a doll. She recalls that Sal then told her his mom was dead and asked her if she could look after them.

Read: ‘I’m not going to let you die’: Pregnant mother rescues 3 girls from drowning in Lake Michigan

Smart Kid

Jessica called 911 and went over to Sal’s house, she found the shower still running and Katelyn unconscious after her seizure and fall. Of course, just in time:

Honestly he saved my life. I was under the faucet.  if he wouldn’t have gotten help, I would I would have drowned.”

Kaitlyn Cicalese

Jessica says that this is the second seizure since her last pregnancy. Jessica says she remembers putting her children to bed and getting ready for a shower after a long day. The next thing she knew, she was awake in the hospital. Speaking of little Sal, Jessica says:

Every day is a challenge for us. He asks me a billion times if I’m going to be okay. He’ll tell me ‘are you going to have another seizure,’ no I’m ok. Are you going to die today? No, I’m not going to die today.”

Kaitlyn Cicalese

Of course, little Sal was given lots of credit for saving his mom’s life with his quick thinking. In fact, Rural Metro fire even honored the little boy to thank him for his service. He received a special certificate, helmet, patch and shirt

5 Year Old San Tan Valley Boy Saves Mom's Life after seizure
Salvatore Cicalese via Santan Valley

“Rural Metro fire wants to recognize you as an honorary firefighter. You get to join the ranks of all these guys that came to help your mom.” Shawn Gilleland added how important it was to teach your children what to do in an emergency: “Talk to them about it.  What do you need to do?  How do you dial 911.  What are the proper uses for 911?  Also, how do you get out of your house?  What to do if there is a fire.”

Shawn Gilleland

For more information on what to do if someone is experiencing a seizure visit the CDC website.

Keep Reading: A toddler swallowed a button battery and died. Her mom is taking action


  1. San Tan Valley boy honored by firefighters after saving his mom.ABC15. Sonu Wasu. April 17, 2017.
  2. 5 Year Old San Tan Valley Boy Saves Mom’s Life.” San Tan Valley. April 14. 2017.