Mississippi cable company phone rep saved Michigan man’s life

Published 3:41 pm Saturday, August 24, 2019

Kimberly Williams is used to all kinds of phone calls.

She is, after all, a customer service representative for a cable company.

But the call on this Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, was different.

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“He said his name really clear, Daniel, and then he just got quiet,” said the 32-year-old, who works for Comcast in Jackson.

On the other end of the line was Dan Magennis, 65, of Walker, Michigan, who had earlier been debating between yard work or calling the cable company.

His choice would prove life-saving.

Williams greeted Magennis, asked for his name and how she could assist him.

“He was talking to me but I could not understand him. Then, his words got slurred.”

She also heard noise in the background as if Magennis had fallen. His phone dropped.

Williams immediately remembered the advice from her mother.

“I followed my first mind,” Williams said of her instinct that the man was having a stroke.

When she was a teen, her grandmother suffered a stroke.

“When she came to my room and tried to talk to me was the same way he spoke to me last Tuesday,” Williams said.

Williams immediately put Magennis’ address in for rescue and made two phone calls to the police department. But, she was unsuccessful in getting assistance.

“They told me he was in a rural area and they said they had their own rescue department,” Williams said.

Staying on the line, Williams summoned her supervisor, Jennifer Clark.

“I told her I was going to help her and to remain calm,” Clark said.

After calling 911 with no success, Clark and Williams contacted the Grand Rapids Fire Department, which then put them in contact with first responders and 911 dispatch.

First responders went in through Magennis’ garage to find him on the floor. They rushed him to Spectrum Health, the largest comprehensive stroke center in Michigan, around 1:30 p.m.

Magennis had indeed suffered a stroke.

He underwent an hour-long surgery to unclog the artery circulating to the left side of his brain.

“She knew something was not right, she took the next steps and it made all the difference,” neurosurgeon Justin Singer told a Michigan news outlet.

“She could have hung up the phone and thought that Magennis just got caught into something else.”

Williams didn’t learn of the outcome of the situation until she went to work on Thursday.

“I was like wow, I really did the right thing and saved someone’s life,” Williams said.

Magennis lives roughly 20 miles from the hospital. His wife was gone at the time and they don’t have neighbors close by. He shared with Williams what he recalled that day. “He said all he could hear was people knocking, banging on his windows and doors and he was out of it,” Williams said.

Doctors have since released Magennis and he is recovering.

“It still feels like a dream to me,” Williams said of her response. “”But, I am glad that I followed my first mind.”