|Cecil Williams and his brave guide dog recover in a Manhattan hospital.|
New York man survives subway fall but may lose hero guide dog.
A hero guide dog and his blind owner who survived being run over by a New York City subway train drew more than $40,000 in online donations on Wednesday from well-wishers trying to stop them from being separated when the man's insurance runs out. It was a miracle that Williams and his canine companion survived and it brought attention to the fact that Cecil may lose his trusty guide dog in a few weeks.
Cecil Williams, 60, was standing on the subway platform in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan on Tuesday when he felt dizzy and fell onto the train tracks.
Williams' 11-year-old black Labrador, Orlando, who had tried to hold him up, jumped down after him just as a train was approaching the station to save him.
Clutching his dog, the blind man 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, local media reported.
"He got too close to the edge. Then all of a sudden he just fell — right in the track. The dog was trying to pull him back," a witness said.
Williams and hero dog recover from injuries.
Williams was at a Manhattan hospital today, recovering from non-life threatening injuries, a spokeswoman at St. Luke's Hospital said. Orlando has been by his side, watching over his owner.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the guide dog school that trained Orlando, said they have been fielding hundreds of inquiries about whether Williams will be forced to give Orlando up for adoption in January when he retires from his job and loses his current insurance plan.
"We recognize everyone's concern about Orlando's future - whether he stays with Cecil or goes back to the loving home of his puppy raiser, please know he will be honored like the hero he is," the group said in a statement.
Crowdfunding platforms raise over $40,000.00 for the cause.
In January of 2014, Cecil's insurance will no longer cover the cost to care for Orlando. Facebook pages have been created and social media users have been buzzing over Orlando’s fate and asking how they could help Williams keep his best friend.
As a result, several crowdfunding platforms have started donation web pages in an effort to raise enough money to keep the pair together in 2014.
Donations on these sites have exceeded $40,000.00 in one day due to the overwhelming kindness of others. Total strangers as well as many native New Yorkers are opening their hearts and their wallets to help keep these friends together.
Crowdfunding has become very popular in 2013 as a way of coming together globally to raise monies to help others with a diverse range of needs from paying medical expenses to covering funeral costs.
If you or someone you know needs monies for a funeral, contact www.funeralfund.com –the crowdfunding site devoted to assisting families with their funeral, burial and memorial needs.