Jayse Carter held his Spider-Man figure closely, insisting the web-swinger is a hero. He didn’t understand that he became one himself last week.
Four-year-old Jayse is being lauded by his grandmother, Wauseon resident Brenda Carpenter, and the city’s police and fire departments for taking action Sept. 5 that probably saved Carpenter’s life. The boy with the cherubic face and ear-to-ear grin kept his wits and used his grandmother’s phone to report that she was lying unconscious on the floor of her West Elm Street apartment.
“This little hero did what he did,” Carpenter said, giving her grandson an affectionate squeeze. “The paramedics even said if he wouldn’t have called when he did…it’s hard telling what could have happened to me.”
She was babysitting both Jayse and a one-year-old grandson at about 7 p.m. when the younger child began crying from his bed. Carpenter immediately went to him, but realized her legs felt weak. A diabetic, she fell over and passed out.
Jayse responded by batting her, saying, “Get up, Grandma.” When that didn’t work, he grabbed his grandmother’s phone and contacted his mother, Tiffany Carter, by Messenger. Jayse walked the phone over to where Carpenter lay so his mother could see the situation.
Carter called Shawn Smith, a friend living in rural Wauseon, and asked her to check on Carpenter while Carter left Toledo for her mother’s apartment. Smith couldn’t rouse Carpenter either, and called 911.
When paramedics from the Wauseon Fire Department were dispatched to check on an ill person, Jayse was calmly waiting for them at the apartment building’s entrance. He led them to the apartment.
Lead paramedic David Bowen discovered Carpenter lying on the floor in the throes of a diabetic emergency.
“It ended up turning into something a little bit more (than expected),” he said. “Her four-year-old grandson realized something’s not right with Grandma. She could have had detrimental effects had this not been recognized and taken care of.”
Carpenter was treated, and awoke to ask the paramedics why they were attending to her. Jayse was taken into the room to assure him his grandmother was fine.
“The fact that he knew….where to guide us in,” Bowen said. “For a four-year-old, he knew where to wait for us by the door, to direct us to the apartment. He was not shaken by the incident at all. We see it on occasion by adults, not typically by a four-year-old.”
A later talk with her daughter confirmed to Carpenter just how serious her situation was. She was informed that she’d been unconscious for 15-20 minutes with a blood sugar level so low it didn’t register. She said her daughter insinuated she could have died.
Carpenter doesn’t know how Jayse learned to contact his mother by phone, but added, “He’s pretty smart. He figures out stuff on the phone all the time.”
Jayse matter-of-factly replied, “I went on Messenger and she was right there. I said, ‘Grandma won’t wake up.’”
Bowen called Jayse a rock star. “He saved his grandmother some long-term, potentially detrimental effects. That’s rock star status right there, ” he said. “It was very humbling to know that a four-year-old could do that.”
A paramedic for about five years, and a firefighter for 18, Bowen added, “When you see someone in the public sector do something that we are trained to recognize – those calls are few and far between. We told him he’s one of us now.”
In fact, the police and emergency personnel at the scene were so impressed by Jayse’s actions they rewarded him with a small police badge. Wauseon Police Chief Keith Torbet said Jayse’s contribution was obvious.
“If this boy wouldn’t have done what he did, there’s a very good possibility his grandmother wouldn’t have survived,” he said. “We applaud his actions. We were very impressed that the young man had the foresight to properly make the call and give the information needed to help his grandmother.”
Torbet said he encourages parents to teach their young children proper phone protocol in cases of emergency.
There’s talk around the fire station of honoring Jayse in some official capacity, Bowen said. “I think we’ll do something to recognize him.”
Carpenter is simply thankful Jayse was there and had the ability to help.
“I was in awe myself,” she said. “I think we’re closer than we’ve ever been now. He saved Grandma’s life, that’s for sure.”