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Over $60,000 raised for 'hero' waitress whose genius hidden note saved boy from abusive parents

Over $60,000 raised for 'hero' waitress whose genius hidden note saved boy from abusive parents

A waitress has received widespread support online after her quick-thinking saved a young boy from an abusive home.

**Warning: Contains descriptions of child abuse.**

A waitress has received widespread support online after her quick-thinking saved a young boy from an abusive home.

Flavaine Carvalho was working on New Year's Day at Mrs Potato Restaurant on South Kirkman Road, Orlando when she picked up on suspicious behaviour involving a young boy.

Scared for his safety, but apprehensive of his parents seeing her trying to intervene, Carvalho managed to find a way to communicate with the 11-year-old boy and alert authorities to what turned out to be an abusive situation.

Carvalho first suspected something was amiss when the young boy was the only one at his table-of-four to not receive food - the boy's stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, reportedly telling the waitress that the 11-year-old would eat at home later on.

However, she noticed 'a big scratch between' the boy's eyebrows.

"Couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong," Carvalho said at a press conference in 2021.

But how could she help without the 11-year-old's parents noticing?

Flaviane Carvalho was serving the boy and his family at Mrs Potato Restaurant on New Year's Da.
Google Maps

Resolute in not letting the boy leave 'without any help,' Carvalho made a handwritten sign reading: "Do you need help? Ok."

She then positioned herself behind his parents and raised the sign, to which the young boy 'nodded' at her as well as making a 'sign with his hands,' the waitress told TODAY.

Carvalho wasted no time in calling the owner of the restaurant and later the police, telling authorities she was 'super concerned' about the 11-year-old.

Carvalho used a handwritten sign to figure out if the boy was in danger.

The 11-year-old boy's stepfather, Wilson, and mother, Kristen Swann were both arrested following the incident at the restaurant.

A four-year-old child - who is not reported as having shown signs of abuse and is stated as being the child of Wilson and Swann - was also removed from the family's house alongside the 11-year-old.

In a news release, Orlando police reflected: "[Carvalho] rescued a boy from some dangerous abuse. [...] He had all sorts of different stages of bruising so it wasn’t like it was just one incident. It was ongoing abuse and torture.

"[...] By saying something when she saw something, Ms. Carvalho displayed courage and care for a child she had never even met before, and we’re proud someone like Ms. Carvalho lives and works in our community.”

The 11-year-old's mother and stepfather were arrested after the incident at the restaurant.
Police handout

A GoFundMe has since been set up to support and reward Carvalho, who has been branded 'a true hero'.

It reads: "The purpose of this GoFundMe is to reward Carvalho for taking a stand and speaking up.

"Kindness is not something that necessarily needs to be rewarded. That being said, any support will always be welcomed and greatly appreciated, especially for someone that works in one of the industries most affected by the pandemic, restaurants.

"'Courage is not living without fear, courage is being scared to death and doing the right thing anyway'."

At the time of writing, donations have surpassed $60,000.

Timothy Lee Wilson was handed a life sentence.
YouTube/ Fox 35 Orlando

According to a release from the Office of the State Attorney, Wilson was found guilty of 'two counts of false imprisonment on a child under the age of 13, three counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect'.

Fox 35 Orlando also reports Swann was charged with child neglect, aggravated child abuse, and failure to report child abuse.

According to the outlet, Wilson has since been sentenced to life in prison and Swann to nearly a year in prison, set to serve 14 years probation upon release and banned from contacting her son or any minors under the age of 18.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111

Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe/YouTube/FOX 4 Now

Topics: Crime, News, True crime, US News