They say that not all heroes wear capes and that is certainly true in the case of the heroic waitress.
The young Orlando woman was doing her job when she noticed something was off with an 11-year-old boy.
Instead of looking the other way, Flavaine Carvalho decided to take action, and as a result, she saved the boy from a very bad situation.
Flavaine was working her New Year's Eve shift at Mrs. Potato, a restaurant located on South Kirkman Road in Orlando, Florida.
The first thing that seemed off to the waitress was that everyone in the family sitting together had meals except the child (whose identity is being protected).
As a mother herself, Flavaine could not understand this situation and approached the boy's stepfather, Timothy Wilson II.
She asked if she could bring the boy anything and the man said he would eat his dinner when they get home.
It was then that she also noticed that the boy had injury marks on his body and realized that it wasn't normal bruises that children get through playing or accidents.
He was covered in scratches as well.
Flavaine knew that asking the child about the injuries or approaching him in front of his parents would not end well.
So, she wrote a little message on a piece of paper and passed it to the boy secretly. She had written 'Do you need help? Ok."
She showed the boy what she had written while standing behind his parents so they would not see.
At first, he shook his head but she didn't quite believe him and Flavaine tried again. This time, the boy signaled 'yes'.
Without even thinking twice, Flavaine called 911.
Not long after that, the stepfather and the child's mother, Kristen Swann, were arrested.
The boy was interviewed by the police and some shocking details of his life were revealed.
Physical and mental abuse was part of the 11-year-old's everyday life, all at the hands of his parents.
Instead of taking care of him, the two would beat the boy with a wooden spoon, force him to do 30-minute planks, hang him upside down, and starve him.
A police spokesperson talked about the disturbing things that happened to the child:
"What this child had gone through, it was torture. Seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through; it shocks your soul.
"He said ratchet straps were tied around his ankles and neck, and he was hung upside down from a door. He said he was hit with a wooden broom, and handcuffed and tied to a large moving dolly."
The spokesperson added that the child received terrible punishments from his parents:
"He also said he didn't get to eat on a regular basis as punishment."
Flavaine also opened up about the experience, talking about what she saw that alarmed her:
"I could see he had a big scratch between his eyebrows. A couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong."
If she ever sees him again, she would just want to give him a tight, warm hug.
After getting busted for what happened to the child, Timothy has been charged with third-degree child abuse.
He was also taken in for many counts of aggravated child abuse as well as child neglect.
The boy's mother was charged with two counts of child neglect.
It is reported that the boy and his sibling, who is only four, have been taken into custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
If more people followed their gut feelings instead of looking the other way, perhaps more folks would have happy endings.