Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Woman Gets Positive New Labels After Rescuing Family
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 6, 2006

DE QUEEN, ARKANSAS--Danita Dorsey, 51, has been described as "mentally retarded" and "developmentally disabled".

On November 25, she earned new labels -- "angel" and "hero" -- for saving the lives of seven members of her family.

According to the Texarkana Gazette, Dorsey woke up on the morning after Thanksgiving Day to find fire and smoke in the room where she had been sleeping. She immediately went through the house, first waking her parents, then the other family members who were visiting from Alabama.

It took just 20 minutes for the blaze to totally destroy the home. Thanks to Danita, however, everyone -- including a 6-year-old and a set of 3-year-old twins -- got out safely.

"I think they would have all perished in the fire if it wasn't for Danita," said her younger sister, Tommi Smith.

As Danita was helping her mother escape, she collapsed from breathing in the smoke. She was airlifted to a Little Rock hospital for treatment.

As of December 2, she was recovering well and was scheduled to be released.

Tommi said her sister was mostly worried about everyone else.

"She wanted to make sure everything is OK," said Tommi. "She is normally a little bossy and she is getting better. She told us what to do and to take care of Mom and Dad."

"Disabled woman saves family" (Texarkana Gazette)


©2016 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.