Arkansas trucker and his co-pilot reunited after medical emergency in metro separated them

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dogs are man's best friend, or in this case, trucker's best friend. A trucker from Arkansas had a medical emergency at a Flying J truck stop, and he says the doctors at North Kansas City hospital saved his life.

But Chris Price says the real miracle is what happened to his co-pilot, his dog Coco.

After three weeks in the hospital, Price and Coco were reunited on Friday.

Price, a truck driver of 22 years, was loading his truck on April 24, but didn't feel well

"When I loaded I couldn't even move, so I took a two-hour nap, and went a couple miles to a truck stop and collapsed," said Price.

An ambulance was called to the truck stop at 435 and Front Street and he was taken to the hospital. But he was worried about Coco, who he's had for seven years, and goes with him everywhere.

"911 had to deal with the dog, they can't take me to the hospital and leave the dog in the truck," Price added.

Animal control took Coco, a pit-bull, to KC Pet Project, which only holds dogs for 10 days. It's an open admission, no-kill facility and someone is always waiting in line.

"Going to the pound 500 miles away from home, you just don't know what's going to happen," said Price.

Doctors say Price had a staph infection that spread to his blood, and needed to stay in the hospital longer than 10 days, so he called Stephanie Bell with KC Pet Project.

"You have someone here who's stranded where they don't live, with no assistance just because of the nature of where they're at -- out-of-state," Bell said.

Bell said one of their boarding facility partners agreed to board Coco for a reduced rate. Staff members and volunteers offered to help pay.

"You kind of empathize with someone in that position," added Bell.

They posted Price's story on Facebook -- it was liked more than 6,000 times and shared almost 1,000 times -- complete strangers wanted to help donate, too.

"It's unbelievable... I tell this story to my friends and they don't believe it," says Price.

North Kansas City social workers helped find an ambulance to transport a dog along with a patient -- Candy Noonan with APS  Ambulance says this is a first.

"Coco will ride just like she rode with him in his truck," said Noonan.

"She's just really important to me," said Price.

Price and Coco are both doing well and are making their way back home to Arkansas together.