Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Young, quick to help

Citizen Staff Writer



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

Both kids will receive awards Thursday. Jesse’s is being presented by the Northwest Fire/Rescue District 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.


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

Jesse waited outside for the paramedics, 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 the fifth grade at Twin Peaks.

Roy said he has been diabetic for about a year.


On Sunday, when Dannik smelled smoke coming from the 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 the Tucson Fire Department’s Adopt-a-School program, which teaches fire safety.

The program includes a practice simulation where students have to evacuate a smoky house, which is set up in the department’s fire safety trailer.

On Sunday, 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 year-old brother, Demarco, while holding the hand of his 3-year-old brother, Deangelo.

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

Firefighters were able to contain most of the damage to the kitchen. The fire started when a pizza box, left on the stove top, overheated.

“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.”

Two Tucson 8-year-olds honored for quick action in emergencies

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