When you see someone dangling from a balcony, your first instinct might be to look up in the sky, but you won’t find a caped superhero flying in to save the day. You also won’t find a superhero dressed in a Spiderman-themed costume climbing up the wall. But you know something? Not all heroes wear costumes, and not all of them exist on the pages of a comic book. Just ask France, who recently had the honor of thanking Mamoudou Gassama, a twenty-two-year-old immigrant who came from Mali in West Africa, after he risked life and limb to save a child dangling from a balcony.
It was a typical Saturday evening in Paris, France, which soon turned into a real nightmare.
Mamoudou Gassama was at a restaurant watching a soccer game when he heard some commotion nearby. Curious, the young man walked out and immediately noticed the source of all the panic and confusion.
There was a small child dangling from the fifth floor of a building and his life was in danger.
The child clung to the balcony while the horrified bystanders on the street called firefighters. But Mamoudou wasn’t willing to wait. He decided that it was necessary to take immediate action, and that’s exactly what he did.
@FredBC77 / Twitter
Mamoudou never gave it a second thought as he jumped up to the lowest balcony in the building.
From there, he continued to climb up to the next floor, and the next floor, and the next floor. Meanwhile, the four-year-old boy had already tumbled down an entire floor before he managed to grab on to the fifth floor’s metal railing, but he was starting to lose his grip.
@FredBC77 / Twitter
Several bystanders recorded the amazing rescue that this real-life Spiderman performed, and it will take your breath away to see how Mamoudou was able to climb up the building with such incredible ease.
— Fred (@FredBC77) May 27, 2018
In under forty seconds, Mamoudou had managed to reach the balcony that was nearest to the child.
Onlookers were stunned, but hopeful that Mamoudou’s bravery would pay off, and it did. Mamoudou grabbed the boy’s arm and swung him over the railing. Then Mamoudou climbed over the railing to check on the boy. He had no idea that his actions would put him in front of some French VIPs.
The video of Mamoudou’s heroic act went viral and he earned himself a brand-new identity.
The media dubbed Mamoudou the “Spiderman of the 18th” because the building at rue Marx-Dormoy is in the 18th arrondissement in Paris. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, praised him for his acts. After meeting her, he told her that his dream was to become a French citizen someday.
That same night, Mamoudou ended up meeting French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time.
In response to Mamoudou’s heroic act, President Macron gave him what he wanted, which was French citizenship. But he also offered him a job opportunity as part of the Paris fire brigade where he would no doubt continue to do heroic things.
Aside from earning French citizenship, Mamoudou was also given even more recognition.
He received this certificate that honored his selflessness and his bravery in the midst of danger. It’s a good thing that he was there at the right place and at the right time because if there was ever a time that the world needed a hero, it was at that moment.