Kimberly Williams, a Comcast Customer Service Specialist, noticed that Dan Magennis was having a stroke. Although she was across the country, she acted quickly and helped save his life.
Magennis, 65, of Walker, Michigan was home by himself when he called Comcast customer services to help him with a problem he was experiencing with his cable. He put his phone on speaker so that he could take notes while he spoke with Williams. Magennis was connected to Williams, a Comcast representative stationed in Jackson, Mississippi. However, once Williams answered the other end, Magennis was not able to say a word. Williams asked if she could help him, and Magennis could only say “um.” He attempted to move but soon realized that he couldn’t move his right leg. These signs caused him to realize that something was wrong, and he even thought that he was having a stroke, but he couldn’t tell Williams that.
Acting on a Feeling
Even though Williams was over 800 miles away, she could tell that there was something wrong with the man on the other end of the line. She said, “I had confidence in my heart, I knew something was wrong with him. I could hear through the phone that something was wrong.” After notifying her supervisor, Williams searched for police departments in Magennis’ area. After contacting police departments around Grand Rapids, she reached the Walker Fire Department and explained the situation. Williams stayed on the phone with Magennis for five minutes, and the Walker authorities soon arrived at Magennis’ home.
Saving a Life
This experience with Magennis wasn’t Williams first encounter with a stroke victim. She actually had a similar occurrence with her grandmother who had suffered from a stroke, so she recognized those same symptoms in Magennis. Williams’ quick thinking not only saved Magennis’ life but also decreased the effect of the stroke. Within an hour of Magennis’ phone call to Comcast, he went into surgery to remove a blood clot in the left side of his brain that was caused by an artery in his neck. By the early afternoon, he was brought out of a successful, life-saving surgery. Because of the quick reactions of Williams and the Walker first responders, Magennis recovered from his stroke with minimal symptoms. Magennis remarked on his recovery saying, “I had a stroke and two days later, I’m walking out of the hospital. It’s incredible. Most stroke victims don’t get to walk out of here like this.” He does experience some effects on his speech, but he is able to speak, eat and walk.
Enjoying Positive Results
Dr. Justin Singer, director of Vascular Neurosurgery at Spectrum Health, also credits Magennis’ recovery to Williams’ response. Singer said, “If he didn’t get the help that he did, best case scenario is he would’ve had right side paralysis and complete inability to communicate with the outside world, and most likely he would be in a nursing home. Worst case scenario is he would’ve gotten brain swelling and died.” Singer also said that timing is crucial when it comes to the treatment of stroke victims because every minute without treatment means that they lose 2 million brain cells. Of course, Magennis is incredibly grateful to Williams and her proactive quick thinking. He’s not sure that he would still be alive today without her much needed help.
Many social media users are hailing Williams a hero for her quick thinking. One user commented, “Wow, talk about trusting your gut! Good on you, Williams!!!” Another user said, “Brought tears to my eyes. Kimberly Williams is awesome!” Other users are grateful to have read such a great story with a happy ending.
Strokes are incredibly serious, and as Dr. Singer said, every minute counts. To detect if someone is suffering from a stroke, think FAST: Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time. Knowing these symptoms can save someone’s life like Kimberly Williams, even in the most unexpected situations.
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