When I discussed Santa with my kids as each of them grew to an age where they started asking questions, I gently explained the real deal as gingerly as I possibly could. I carefully pointed out that every year without fail, an example of good will takes over, which I truly believe brings home the spirit of St. Nick. This is one such story. This tale of a Christmas miracle in which a blind man and a dog fall onto subway tracks just might restore your faith in mankind (both human and furry!).
When 60 year old Cecil Williams was traveling on the subway with his seeing eye dog, Orlando, he suddenly felt faint, passed out, and fell onto the subway tracks in Harlem, NY. Orlando, also fell down with Williams and being the loyal Lab he is, the dog stayed right by the mans side attempting to help him. Before they both fell, Orlando did his best to bark and alert Williams to get away from the platform edge but Williams felt too faint to do anything about it. The train conductor saw the people on the platform who were frantically waving at the conductor, and noticed the man and the dog on the tracks but could not halt the immense train in time. At the same time, an MTA employee called out to the man to stay down.
The train ran over both Williams and Orlando but luckily, they were in a trench between the tracks which saved their lives.
“He was trying to pull me back. I guess I fell over and he fell over with me. When we fell over, he stayed down there with me. He was there for me.”
Williams suffered a laceration on the head and while he was giving interviews to press recalling his ordeal, he mentioned how since Orlando would soon turn 11 in January, he would have to retire. Normally the retired dogs would go back to the family that trained them or wait to be adopted. Williams said he would love to keep him but didn’t have the necessary money to do so once Orlando retired and insurance would not pay for it. Horrible, yes, but here is where the miracle sets in.
Once word got out of Williams having to give up Orlando, a bunch of Internet campaigns quickly began. As of right now, over $77,000 has been donated from across the country to help Williams keep his beloved dog. Williams spoke at a press conference at St. Luke’s Hospital where he is recovering:
“I want to thank you to everybody for showing their humanity, peace and goodwill.”
Now Williams and Orlando will never have to be apart again and almost as if right on time, a true Christmas miracle makes its way to New York City.