Lorenzo Parker was supposed to be looking at his 3-year-old godson.
But as the toddler proudly peddled a bicycle for the first time, Parker glanced up and saw a little girl falling from the sky.
She, too, had been watching the first bicycle ride. She’d leaned farther and farther out of her second-story window on Lincoln Avenue to keep the little biker in sight.
Suddenly, she leaned too far.
By the time Parker saw her, she was already falling. He ran toward her, reaching her just as she hit the ground.
“I tried to catch her,” the 16-year-old said softly. “I caught her a little bit. I broke her fall.”
But the impact ruptured both lungs. She took bubbling gasps, trying to breathe as Parker held her in his arms. Without a moment’s hesitation, he ran with her into her house.
Behind him, his godson’s mother shouted that he shouldn’t move her. She could have a broken neck.
Parker wasn’t listening. He kicked in the front door, hands too full for knocking or doorbell-ringing. The girl’s surprised father leapt up as Parker screamed, “Call 911!”
An ambulance came. Lisamarie Depoo, 6, was rushed to Albany Medical Center Hospital. She spent three days there. Now, she’s home again, back in school, back to spinning in joyful circles with her twin sister and sometimes hiding shyly behind her mother’s back.
“It was a miracle,” her mother said. “A miracle he was there.”
Parker was recognized by the City Council on Monday for his community service in trying to catch Depoo on Aug. 14 and then alerting her family to get her quick medical attention.
The council hesitated to call him a hero — but Depoo’s father made no bones about it.
“He was a real hero,” Saywack Depoo said. “He didn’t look at the color, the creed, the tribe, the ethnicity. Because of him, my daughter has a second chance at life.”
Depoo came to Schenectady from Guyana, where he was not raised with a 911 emergency system. And when he saw his daughter laying in Parker’s arms, he was too shocked to move.
“I was struck. I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “And he said, call 911, call 911. He was shouting, screaming it.”
Depoo followed the boy’s instructions.
Now Lisamarie stays away from windows, Depoo said. She can remember everything — and she finds it so terrifying that she wants to forget, he said.
The boy she was watching on his bicycle, Jaiden Bailey, also came to Monday’s recognition. Also present were members of the local Hughes Williams Helping Hands Committee, which gave Parker a $50 check for his acts in service to the community.
Parker was a little embarrassed by all the attention. Anyone, he said, would have done the same if they’d been there.
“I’m just happy there was someone there to get her, or she would have been laying there a long time,” he said.
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