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Help Henry Smith Keep The Toy Dimension Open!

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What Happened
 
On August 10th, 2021, Henry Smith, Jr. -- longtime proprietor of The Toy Dimension in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- suffered a stroke as he waited for the bus across the street from his store.
 
"I could barely crawl," Smith, a Milwaukee native, recalled in a recent article detailing the event. "It was like I was conscious, but I didn't understand what was going on."
 
Frightened and in desperate need of assistance, Henry tried to alert departing passengers from the arriving bus to his situation, at one point begging passers-by to call an ambulance as he lay prone on the sidewalk in a near-torrential downpour.

Unfortunately, no one stopped to help him that rainy summer night.

“What was so sad is I’m asking people to please dial 911 for me and they kept walking away. I’m lying on the ground getting soaked, and no one would do anything to help."

Henry mustered what little dexterity remained to call his fiancée Dana Wilson, who alerted emergency services and had him brought to Froedtert Hospital. After being checked out Henry was given the all-clear to return home, as doctors were unable to determine the exact cause of his symptoms at the time.

Unsure of what else to do, Dana helped him back to his apartment to get some food and much-needed rest. As he appeared to settle in for the night she promised to come back and check on him first thing the next day and went to her truck to head home.
 
"Something didn't feel right to me about any of it -- I just couldn't bring myself to turn the key in the ignition," she reflected.

After returning to the apartment she saw him struggling to ambulate and slurring his words, prompting a new call to 911 and a return to the hospital.
 
Henry was kept overnight for observation and was rushed into emergency brain surgery early the next morning. It was discovered that he had suffered two strokes the previous evening, and he would return again to the operating table for another emergency procedure the following day before his eventual release, enduring over eight hours of surgery in all.
 
Thankfully, Henry is now home again and on the mend, but he has struggled to keep the doors of his business open while he recovers. According to Dana, "The landlord is trying to be patient with us, but before Henry can go back to the store, we have to make sure his health is intact first." She has been doing her best to keep things running in his absence, but with the family's attention necessarily focused on Henry's condition and the progress of his early recovery, it's been far from easy.

 
To hear it from Henry himself, the struggle is about so much more than his physical well-being. "This isn't about pride. It's about being responsible," he recently told Princess Safia Byers in an article published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. "I love being at the store and I really miss it."
 
About the Toy Dimension
 
The Toy Dimension has been a pillar of the Milwaukee business community for nearly twenty-five years, and Henry himself has been a veritable wealth of information regarding all things comic and movie-related for far longer. A black entrepreneur and longtime fixture on the collectible scene, his shop has become the premier local hangout for a diverse array of customers -- the young and the young at heart -- to trade stories on all their favorite superhero memorabilia, not to mention the only place in town to shop for the one-of-a-kind movie and action collectibles he regularly keeps in stock.
 
Additionally, Henry has also served as longtime host of the bi-monthly collector's event at the historic Burnham Bowl across town -- one of the oldest comic and collectible series in the city -- since 1990, helping to introduce new generations to all the comic books, action figures, and characters he's loved all his life.
 
What You Can Do to Help
 
Simply stated, Henry and The Toy Dimension are in need of some assistance. While we’re glad he’s on the long road to recovery, the bills keep coming due.

Unequivocally, it's a tragedy that none of our fellow citizens heeded Henry's calls of distress on the streets of Milwaukee that fateful night -- and now's our chance to make things right and lend a helping hand to a wonderful friend, neighbor, and entrepreneur.
 
All donated funds will be principally utilized to pay the rent and utilities for both The Toy Dimension and for Henry's apartment during his long recovery, allowing him to focus on building the strength necessary to return to work on a part-time basis when given the clearance to do so by his medical team. The recovery process from having a stroke is multifaceted and complex; Henry will need adequate time to regain functionality, which can take many hard months of grueling rehabilitation and will likely stretch far into 2022. As he will be unable to return to work for some time, any and all donations that you can provide are both greatly and humbly appreciated.
 
Additionally, any excess funds will be utilized to cover the considerable costs of his medical attention, including his two emergency surgeries and time in the hospital, along with the ongoing rehabilitation services and twelve total medications required for his ongoing convalescence. While Henry is thankfully covered by his current medical plan for the duration of 2021, his insurance status will then be in jeopardy at the beginning of 2022, and losing The Toy Dimension would be a tremendous blow to his ability to obtain necessary care. Henry was laid off from his second job during the pandemic in 2020, and losing his store so soon thereafter would have a disastrous effect on his health and well-being -- not to mention the void it would leave within the hearts of so many loyal patrons and the community at large.
 
Let's Keep the Toy Dimension Up and Running!
 
As the old saying goes: do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. Indeed, while Henry has certainly never been a rich man, monetarily speaking, he has nevertheless always considered himself wealthy in a far more meaningful way.

"I love what I do. I don’t make a whole lot of money. But I love what I do...When I see a kid come in and get a big smile on their face, that’s worth it.”
 
Let's help lift up a member of our community and share the wealth, Milwaukee.

We hope you'll consider donating to Henry and The Toy Dimension as a thank you for all that he's given us over the past quarter century and help us keep the doors open to a place that comic fans of all ages can congregate for many more years yet to come.



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Fundraising team (2)

Dana Wilson
Organizer
Milwaukee, WI
Shana Wilson
Beneficiary
Z. E.
Team member

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