Comcast Cable Operator Hailed as Hero for Saving Customer's Life

Many people get frustrated calling the cable company, but for one Michigan man it was a lifesaving conversation.

On August 13, Dan Magennis, 65, dialed Comcast to talk about his cable service. But the call didn't last long.

"He said his name really clear—Daniel—and then he just got quiet," Williams, 32, told the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. "He was talking to me but I could not understand him. Then, his words got slurred."

Then Williams said she heard a crash, like Magennis had fallen.

Something told her he was having a stroke. When Williams was a teen, her grandmother had a stroke and she recognized the symptoms. "When she came to my room and tried to talk to me, [it] was the same way he spoke to me."

Staying on the line, Williams quickly pulled up Magennis' address and called police on a separate line. But it was no use:. "They told me he was in a rural area and they said they had their own rescue department [there]," she told the paper

Williams called over her supervisor, Jennifer Clark. The pair first tried 911 but, when that didn't work, called the Grand Rapids Fire Department, who connected them with first responders who could get to Magennis in Walker, Michigan, about 10 minutes away.

Finding him on the floor of his garage, EMTs rushed Magennis to Butterworth Hospital. Williams was right: He had suffered a stroke.

stroke
Stroke is the second leading cause of death behind heart disease. There are an estimated 795,000 strokes every year, and 137,000 stroke-related deaths. Getty Images

"She knew something was not right, she took the next steps and it made all the difference," said neurosurgeon Justin Singer. "She could have hung up the phone and thought that Magennis just got caught into something else."

Singer operated on Magennis for an hour to remove blood clots from Magennis' brain and carotid artery. He is expected to recover. "That gal took care of business," Magennis said of his guardian angel. But it wasn't until two days later that Williams learned her quick thinking-prevented a tragedy.

"I was like, Wow, I really did the right thing and saved someone's life," Williams said. "It still feels like a dream to me, but, I am glad that I followed my first [instinct]."

According to Harvard Health, stroke is the second leading cause of death behind heart disease. There are an estimated 795,000 strokes every year, and 137,000 stroke-related deaths.

Not all strokes are preventable, but there are some early warning signs that can help minimize the damage: Symptoms include weakness in an extremity, numbness on one side of the body, a sudden loss of vision (particularly in one eye), loss of balance, sudden difficulty speaking or inability to understand what someone is saying or a sudden, lasting, excruciating headache.

Experts say treatment is most effective if it starts within 60 minutes of the onset of symptoms. To help determine if someone is having a stroke, the American Stroke Association has devised the "FAST" checklist:

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?

Arms: Ask them to raise both arms. Does one drift downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred or garbled?

Time: If the answer to any of these prompts is yes, time if of the essence. Call 911 or get to the hospital immediately.

Comcast Cable Operator Hailed as Hero for Saving Customer's Life | Health