North Texas Man Suffers Stroke, Sees Surprising Face in ER

A Duncanville man who suffered a stroke says the last person he expected to see in the emergency room was his neighbor

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You might call this a unique story of neighbors helping neighbors.

A Duncanville man who suffered a stroke said the last person he expected to see in the emergency room was his neighbor.

Unbeknownst to him, his neighbor would play a big role in his recovery.

For years, Joe and Vickey Dancy and Dr. Robert Simonson knew each other as those neighbors down the road, however, just a few months ago their paths crossed in the most unexpected way.

"I looked at him and I thought, 'I know this guy' and he couldn't talk, couldn't move his left side," said Simonson.

Joe suffered a stroke and wound up in the emergency room at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where Simonson is the chair of the Emergency Medicine Department.

The hospital is also a certified comprehensive stroke center.

Within hours, doctors performed a thrombectomy, a minimally-invasive procedure to clear the blocked blood vessel.

Dancy spent a week in the hospital, but because of COVID-19 protocols, his wife Vickey couldn't visit him in the hospital. Having a neighbor there by his side, however, offered her peace of mind.

"That was hugely helpful to have Simonson there, to realize you have a neighbor and a friend that was right there to check on him when you couldn't," said Vickey Dancy.

Moral support plus a rigorous rehabilitation plan put Joe on the fast-track to recovery.

"Stroke is so devastating. I'm just shocked how much it impacts your life," said Joe Dancy.

Joe is now home, playing basketball and doing other activities that prove comprehensive stroke care can work.

Stroke is now the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Experts say 80% of strokes are preventable and that factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, an irregular heartbeat, and even family history may increase your risk of having a stroke.

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