Thriving under pressure: Brother and sister receive lifesaver awards from Holmen Area Fire Department

11-year-old Nora Knapp called 911 after reading her grandma's very low blood pressure

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) – Two students from St. Patrick Elementary School in Onalaska are being recognized for their bravery.

These students are brother and sister who also are in Scouts.

Fire officials say the department doesn’t do ceremonies like this very often, because they are reserved for people who go above and beyond to save someone’s life.

Some of us just have the knack to thrive under pressure.

“I don’t really know if I got it from my mom, my dad,” 11-year-old Nora Knapp said.

But what Nora does know is that scouting taught her a lot about handling stressful moments.

“I know that I have to stay calm,” Nora said. “Or else, the situation’s going to turn into chaos.”

Last month, Nora and her 8-year-old brother, Sylus, were visiting their grandma, Laurie Hampton, at her apartment in Holmen.

“Thank God they were there,” Hampton said.

What seemed like a normal visit quickly took a turn.

“All of a sudden, she says her legs hurt,” Nora said. “She needs to put them up. And that’s usually normal. … And then I noticed her head kind of bobbing.”

“I kept thinking I was falling asleep,” Hampton said. “I’m like, ‘how can I fall asleep on the kids?'”

“And I said ‘something’s wrong,'” Nora said.

Nora immediately took her grandma’s blood pressure.

“When the blood pressure read, I was in shock,” Nora said.

The reading showed Hampton’s pressure was really low, so Nora called 911.

Hampton was eventually taken to a local hospital.

She says she stayed there for just two days.

But it could’ve been worse if it weren’t for the sixth-grader’s actions.

“She did pretty good for an 11-year-old,” Hampton said.

Because of Nora’s and Sylus’ courageousness, the fire department gave them each a lifesaver award in the St. Patrick Elementary gym.

A moment people couldn’t wait to capture.

“You just had a really unique and special kiddo who has an interest, obviously, in medicine, and is smart and knew what she needed to do,” said Pat Corran, a La Crosse Fire Department community risk educator. (The La Crosse and Holmen Area Fire Departments are currently under an administrative merger agreement).

“I thought it’d just be a medal,” Sylus said. “Not a plaque.”

“I’m very proud that we did this because, I mean, I saved,” Nora said. “I’m glad she’s alive.”

High-fives and hugs for these brave children, and ones who make their grandma proud.

“I think they’re two pretty incredible kids,” Hampton said.

“She’s the best grandma in the world,” Sylus said.

Proving that no matter your age, you can save a life.

Hampton says she recently was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, more commonly known as an irregular heartbeat.

She says she is on different blood pressure medications since her scare in January, and says she is doing well right now.

Hampton also got to witness her grandchildren receive the awards on her birthday.

Nora will receive a national Scouting award from the Gateway Area Council at a troop meeting next month.

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