MILWAUKEE — A toy store owner is working to get his one-person shop back up to full speed after suffering two strokes on the same day.
Friday was as close to business as usual for Henry Smith Jr. He is going through inventory at his shop, Toy Dimension.
Inside, there’s an action figure wonderland with a little bit of everything for the collector.
“GI Joe, He Man, Transformers,” Smith said.
His passion for toys started as a young shy kid. That passion eventually turned into entrepreneurship for 20 years here at 60th and North Avenue.
“I mean, I couldn’t ask for anything more when I found this place,” Smith said.
It’s a store with a lot for sale.
“Oh, that. That’s mine,” Smith said, pointing at his rare Star Wars TIE Fighter.
“A lot of people ask me, 'will I ever sell it?' No,” he said.
But even with the child-like passion for collectibles, Smith is 61 years old. He came face-to-face with his mortality on Aug. 10, suffering two strokes in one night.
He collapsed outside of the store along the sidewalk, trying to get help.
“What was so sad that night is I’m asking people, could you please dial 911 for me? And they kept walking away, and it was raining that night. I’m lying on the ground getting soaked, and no one would do anything to help,” Smith said.
Eventually he was able to call his fiancé. Later that night, he had emergency brain surgery.
In the meantime, his shop is open less as he recovers, and bills are piling up. However, he remains thankful for his health.
“Yes, it’s definitely done a whammy on me, but I'm very thankful I can walk pretty well and speak pretty well,” Smith said.
He also thanks supporters helping him keep his business afloat throughout recovery.
“As long as I can be here, I will take care of them. They’ve taken care of me all these years, and that’s something I want to be able to do,” Smith said.
Smith said he feels blessed, but he made a promise to his family that he is going to take it easy.