STANLEY Everyday heroes can come in any age, shape or size and Levi Jessen is one of the latest local heroes.
At the time 10 years old, Levi saved the life of an elderly woman who had fallen and broken her hip.
Levi was honored for his heroic efforts on Sunday at Mountrail Bethel Home in Stanley.
Levi Jessen, right, Berthold, holds the plaque he received for saving the life of AnnaBelle Nelson, front, of Stanley. From left are Mike Nason, president of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association, Tom Iverson, officer with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, and Jessen’s grandmother, Diana Addicott, of Stanley. Levi was honored for his lifesaving efforts at Mountrail Bethel Home in Stanley on Sunday.
Linda Lumley, mother of AnnaBelle Nelson, the elderly woman who fell, told the audience at the Stanley nursing home that Levi is the Nelson family hero.
She told the group that on Jan. 29, 2013, her mother, who was 88 at the time, fell outside her apartment in Stanley. Levi, who was visiting his grandmother Diana Addicott, who lived nearby in the same apartment complex, said he could hear someone crying outside in the backyard like a baby crying or someone who was hurt.
Addicott didn't hear any noise and tried to dismiss it, but Levi was persistent and insisted they crack open a window to listen for the noise. Levi's persistence paid off. Addicott then opened her apartment door and since his grandmother is legally blind, Levi looked outside, seeing an elderly woman laying on the sidewalk, calling for help and waving her arms.
Nelson, who had broken her hip in her fall, had managed to drag herself closer to the apartment building. Addicott told her that they would call for an ambulance.
Levi called 9-1-1 while Addicott waited outside with Nelson. When the ambulance arrived, Nelson asked for them to call her daughter, who met them in the emergency room.
"It was nothing short of a miracle," said Lumley. "God gave that boy good ears. Levi said 'I think God sent me here tonight for a reason!' He was the hands of God. Our family thanks you."
Later that same evening, Levi asked his grandmother if they could read the Bible and pray for the woman who had fallen, Lumley said.
Lumley said she wrote a letter explaining the rescue and sent it to the Stanley Police Department, Mountrail County Sheriff's Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol and Governor's Office.
The letter was brought to the attention of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association who honored him with its Lifesaving Award.
Mike Nason, president of the North Dakota Peace Officers Association, said it's not too frequent that the Lifesaving Awards are given out, but Levi's efforts fit all of the criteria for the award. "Lifesaving is a big deal. I think Levi was supposed to be there that night," Nason said.
Lumley, noting that Addicott is legally blind, said the fact that she couldn't see but Levi heard Nelson's cries and was staying at his grandmother's house that weekend had to have been an act of God. Plus, she added, her mother had been laying on the sidewalk for a half hour and it was zero degrees outside, there was no light and no one would have heard her calling for help had it not been for Levi insisting a window be cracked open to better hear what he thought was a person crying.
Since that fateful night, Nelson has been doing well and is currently residing at Mountrail Bethel Home.
"I give God credit," Lumley said. "I believe God used Levi that night. It wasn't an accident that he was there. We'll probably keep in touch with him for the rest of his life. We're having cake and celebrating today."