As soon as customer service representative Kimberly Williams heard the slurred voice of a cable customer on the phone, she knew something was wrong.
Williams could not mistake the troubling sound of the man’s voice, scarcely able to speak. From prior experience with her grandmother, Williams knew exactly what was happening.
Williams’ hunch that she was on the phone with a person having a stroke was confirmed when she heard the sound of the phone fall to the floor.
From her workplace in Jackson, Mississippi, Williams knew she needed to find a way to dispatch emergency help to the man who had been calling from a Grand Rapids, Michigan, suburb.
“Only thing I was able to get was his name and then his words got slurred right away,” Williams told WZZM. “And then I heard the phone drop.”
Walker man’s life saved by Comcast customer service representative https://t.co/cwgGKSOwPs
— News 19 WLTX (@WLTX) August 16, 2019
The man was Dan Magennis, from Walker, Michigan, who decided to prioritize calling Comcast about his cable account before heading outdoors to do some yard work.
Magennis said he felt fine when he placed the call, but the moment he tried to speak, words did not come.
Incredibly, Magennis’ phone call landed in the lap of someone who not only recognized the emergency but also went above and beyond to help.
“Had I not done that I don’t know that I would’ve gotten back out of the backyard,” Magennis said of placing the phone call. “Honestly, it all happened so fast.”
Williams said she was familiar with the signs of a stroke because she was there, as a teenager, when her grandmother had a stroke. The familiarity of the slurred speech was unmistakable.
Williams frantically searched for and called several emergency dispatchers in Magennis’ hometown until an emergency response crew headed out to the man’s home.
Magennis was rushed to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, the state’s largest comprehensive stroke center, and was placed under the care of neurosurgeon Justin Singer.
Dr. Singer quickly unclogged the artery that had caused Magennis’ stroke, crediting Williams as the reason his patient was able to achieve such a positive outcome.
— Comcast South (@ComcastSouth) August 16, 2019
“Had this person not intervened and just hung up the phone, I think [Magennis] likely would’ve had a very large left-sided stroke that would’ve left him with significant disability,” Singer said.
Magennis has very little, if any, noticeable signs of a stroke, all thanks to a customer service representative who went above and beyond her job description.
“If that hadn’t happened, I’m not sure where I’d be today,” Magennis said. “I don’t think I’d be right here.”
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