Comcast Customer Service Rep Saves Life of Man Having a Stroke While on the Phone with Her
Dan Magennis is on the road to recovery — and he has a quick-thinking representative from his cable company to thank for helping him take the first steps.
Kimberly Williams, a Comcast customer service rep in Jackson, Mississippi, stepped up to contact emergency services after speaking on the phone with Magennis, whose sudden change in verbal demeanor raised a red flag for Williams.
“The only thing I was able to get was his name, and then his words got slurred right away,” Williams, 32, told ABC 13 On Your Side of her August 13 call with Magennis, 65. “Then I heard the phone drop.”
“It all happened so fast,” Magennis added. “[Everything was fine] until I went to talk. And at that point in time, all of a sudden, I could not. … I didn’t have any strength in my arm, my right foot didn’t work and I couldn’t make a sound.”
Williams immediately began attempting to contact authorities local to Magennis in Walker, Michigan, she said in an interview with USA Today — and when her first try didn’t work, she kept at it.
“They told me he was in a rural area and they said they had their own rescue department,” she told the outlet.
Both Williams and her supervisor, Jennifer Clark, first called 911. Then, they got in touch with the Grand Rapids Fire Department. The latter action eventually led first responders to Magennis’ home, where they found him on his garage floor, according to USA Today.
Williams told the outlet that she “followed [her] first mind” in her actions, after having witnessed her own grandmother suffer a stroke when she was a teenager: “When she came to my room and tried to talk to me was the same way he spoke to me last Tuesday.”
And her instinct was correct. Magennis had suffered a stroke and underwent an artery-unclogging surgery after being transported to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“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 a significant disability,” neurosurgeon Justin Singer told ABC 13 On Your Side. “Under certain circumstances, someone could even die from a very large stroke.”
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“He has almost no discernible signs of having a stroke [now], and that’s what we want to see,” Singer added of the patient’s recovery.
In her conversation with USA Today, Williams said she “really did the right thing and saved someone’s life,” something she didn’t learn about until she came back into work two days later, adding, “It still feels like a dream to me. But I am glad that I followed my first mind.”
“Each day, our Customer Experience Associates in Jackson, Mississippi, and across the nation go above and beyond the call of duty to take care of our customers. In this case, Ms. Kimberly Williams took the extra steps to help save a customer’s life,” Alex Horwitz, a vice president of public relations for Comcast, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of her quick thinking and dedication.”
As for Magennis, without Williams’ help, “I’m not sure where I’d be today,” he told ABC 13 On Your Side. “I don’t think I’d be right here, very honestly.”