Our post today is a tribute to the life of Pedro Manuel Salado, a man worthy of our deepest admiration. During his life he anonymously earned enough merits to deserve our commendation, but it was obviously the news about his heroic death that made me and others aware of his remarkable life and prompted me to write this post.
Pedro was a missionary who devoted his life to help others. For the last 14 years he lived in Quinindé (Ecuador) leading a Shelter/School named ‘Hogar y Escuela-Colegio Sagrada Familia de Nazaret’, where he was recognized for his kindness and dedication to the local children. Without a doubt, he was an unselfish and remarkable man, but —fortunately for humanity— not unique. He was just an ‘ordinary’ hero. His death, however, put him on a whole different level.
His ultimate and spectacular sacrifice occurred on February 5 of 2012. He died from exhaustion after saving the lives of seven children that had been dragged by the waters in a beach close to Quinindé. Relentless, he kept going in the water to rescue still one more child until they were all safe.
You do not need to be a doctor to know that exhaustion is a gradual process. Before you actually die from exhaustion, I imagine your body sends you all kind of messages to force you to stop, messages impossible to ignore. They say that in his last trip in Pedro rescued the last two children (Selena and Alberto). Before that trip he was obviously drained of all energy. I imagine a heroic person collapsing on the beach unable to go in again to save the last two children. However, he did not and I ask myself about Pedro’s willpower that allowed him to find his last drop of energy and use it to save them. I can’t even imagine.
His actions were no doubt an amazing feat, but what impresses me the most is how his determination to save the children was so much stronger than his own body. It was literally superhuman. That is what puts Pedro in a totally different category of heroes. As far as I am concerned, he is the ultimate hero.