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Louisville, KY (WDRB) A blind 9-11 survivor is telling his miraculous story about how he and his guide dog escaped from the World Trade Center, moments before it collapsed.
Michael Hingson was in Louisville for a Kentucky Office for the Blind Assistive Technology Expo and Conference. He brought a message of trust, courage, and teamwork.
For Hingson, September 11th, 2001 truly changed his life forever. He and his guide dog Roselle escaped from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower moments before it collapsed. His courageous story has people lining up to meet him at the Galt House.
He says, "The building swayed forward, then it came back, then people saw there was fire above us. I told people slow down, don't panic because my dog at the time, Roselle, was not indicating that she felt any fear."
Hingson was a sales manager and ran an office in the World Trade Center. He evacuated all of his employees first.
He says, "Then after they started down, we evacuated and went down the stairs and eventually made it out only to be about 100 yards from Tower Two when it collapsed."
He and Roselle ran into a subway station because of the huge dust cloud. Hingson now makes his living as a speaker all over the world and his book is a New York Times Best seller. Hingson gives over 100 presentations every year.
He says, "My story is a story of teamwork and survival. But, it's a story that says I as a blind person, like any other blind person can be in harm's way just as much as anyone else or we can succeed just as much as anyone else. We have the same skills."
Roselle died last year at the age of 13. Hingson's new guide dog is named "Africa" and she is always by his side.
Hingson says there was a time to grieve after 9-11, but 11 years later, it's time to move on. He says, "9-11 happened and what we need to do is learn the lessons from it. I choke up every time I talk about the firefighters who I met going up the stairs who petted my guide dog Roselle, who got some kisses from her which was the last unconditional love they ever got in their life."