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2 Tucson kids to be honored for quick action in emergencies

Dannik Batiste, 8, stands in his classroom on Wednesday at Oyama Elementary School. He will be honored by the Tucson Fire Department on Thursday for saving his family after a fire started in the kitchen of its home.

Dannik Batiste, 8, stands in his classroom on Wednesday at Oyama Elementary School. He will be honored by the Tucson Fire Department on Thursday for saving his family after a fire started in the kitchen of its home.

Jesse Lesnewski and Dannik Batiste aren’t superheroes who can fly or bend steel, but they do know how to help in an emergency.

The two 8-year-olds are receiving hero awards Thursday. Jesse’s award is being presented by Northwest Fire Department for her quick thinking in helping her diabetic brother, Roy, 10.

Dannik will receive his from the Tucson Fire Department for rescuing his little brothers from a kitchen fire.

Jesse

When Jesse woke up Feb. 27, her brother, Roy, asked her if he had a diabetic kit.

“He knows he has a diabetic kit to keep all his things in,” she said. “I said, ‘Of course you have one.’”

The questioned worried Jesse.

“I looked at his coloring and it was way worse than the other colors that he has,” she said Wednesday.

Jesse, a second-grader at Twin Peaks Elementary School, 7995 W. Twin Peaks Road, got Roy a soda, but he only drank a little. She tried to spoon feed him chocolate syrup, but most of it got all over the bed. She tried to take his blood sugar, but he wouldn’t let her.

“I was really scared,” she said. “He was telling me, ‘Leave me alone, I don’t want you here.’ He didn’t know who his family was, who he was.”

She realized she needed more help and woke up her father, John Lesnewski.

“She woke me up and said, ‘Daddy, call 911, I woke up and tried to get Ruvie (Roy’s nickname) up and he’s not waking up, he has low blood sugar,’” Lesnewski said.

Lesnewski said he quickly checked on his son, who wasn’t cooperative and wasn’t acting like himself. He was able to check Roy’s blood sugar level, which was 28. The goal, Lesnewski said, is to have the level at 80-120 when his son wakes up in the morning.

Jesse waited outside for the paramedics, while holding her teddy bear. By the time they arrived three to four minutes later, Roy was alert and, when tested, his blood sugar level was 117.

“They asked what I did. I said ‘I didn’t do anything. My daughter did,’” Lesnewski said.

“I thought that was pretty brave because she’s never really done that before,” said Roy, who is in fifth grade at Twin Peaks.

Roy said he has been a diabetic for about a year.

Dannik

On March 8, when Dannik smelled smoke coming from his kitchen, he knew exactly what to do.

As part of his third-grade curriculum at Oyama Elementary School, 2700 S. La Cholla Blvd., he participated in Tucson Fire Department’s Adopt-a-School program, which teaches fire safety.

The program includes a practice simulation where students have to evacuate a smokey house, which is set up in the department’s Fire Safety Trailer.

On March 8, Dannik first yelled for his dad, who was taking a shower.

“I called my dad, but he didn’t hear me,” Dannik said. “I told my brothers to get out of the house.”

Dannik carried his 1-year-old brother, Demarco, while holding the hand of his 3-year-old brother, Deangelo.

Once outside he flagged down a car and got someone to call 911. He also got an adult to go in and get his dad.

When firefighters arrived, they were able to contain most of the damage to the kitchen. The fire started when a pizza box, left on the stove top, got hot.

“Dannik is a perfect example of why education/prevention is so vital to our community,” said Mandy Hart, the public education specialist who taught Dannik’s class. “I was thrilled to hear that a student knew exactly what to do.”

Jesse Lesnewski, 8, poses with her brother Roy, 10, on Wednesday at their house in Marana. Jesse will be honored by the Northwest Fire/Rescue District for saving her brother during a diabetic crisis.

Jesse Lesnewski, 8, poses with her brother Roy, 10, on Wednesday at their house in Marana. Jesse will be honored by the Northwest Fire/Rescue District for saving her brother during a diabetic crisis.

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