A blind man who survived falling onto subway tracks and being run over by a train after his seeing-eye dog tried to save him, has been given a new guide dog.
Incredibly, Cecil Williams, 60, survived after falling onto the tracks at 125th Street in Harlem, New York, in December when he became dizzy.
His 11-year-old black Labrador, Orlando, who had tried to hold him up, ended up falling with him and just as a train was approaching the station woke him by licking his face.
After the incident, Mr Williams said he wouldn’t be able to keep his pet any longer because his dog was getting too old for guide dog work.
Thanks to the kindness of strangers, he is being allowed to keep Orlando, so he can put his paws up and relax, and Cecil has a new guide dog too, called Godiva.
$44,000 was received from well-wishers after an online campaign was launched to let him keep Orlando.
On the day of the incident, Mr Williams, clutching his dog, flattened himself in the space between the rails as the train moved into the station. The lead car passed over them, as terrified witnesses screamed for the train to stop.
Orlando followed his owner down, barking for attention and huddling on top of Williams him as an oncoming train screeched to a halt just above them.
Horrified commuters watched as an employee of the MTA shouted down to Cecil as he sat upright on the tracks and said not to move and to lie down in the trench between the tracks.
The train driver slammed its breaks on and then rolled two carts over Orlando and Cecil.
The two managed to duck at the last minute and survived.
FDNY Capt. Danny O’Sullivan, a 17-year FDNY said someone must have been watching out for Williams and Orlando. ‘We checked out under the train and found that he was not trapped; he was just in between the rails’ ‘It must have been a lucky day for him. It was definitely is a miracle.’
Thanks to some anonymous donors Mr Williams can now keep both dogs as Orlando move into retirement.
At an emotional press conference last month, Cecil thanked strangers nationwide for their kindness saying, ‘Orlando, he is my best buddy, he’s my pal. I feel that it’s a blessing, I feel that it’s a miracle.
‘All the people that contributed or donated, we should take our hat off to them. There’s still good people in this world.
‘I appreciate that people got together and helped me to keep Orlando. It is going to to cover him for the rest of his life.’
Source credit: http://www.dogfull.com/2023/05/blog-post_35.html