Service Dog Saved Life of 9/11 Survivor

Natasha Brewer – MUTV 23 News

Michael Hingson, a survivor of 9/11 and an inspirational speaker, visited MU to present a lecture at the Student Center on Monday.

Hingson, who was born blind, was a sales manager for the company Quantum ATL, a company that specializes in technological advancements, on the day that the World Trade Center was attacked.

In order to escape from the building, Hingson’s guide dog at the time, Roselle, helped lead him down 78 flights of stairs.

Located in the north tower, which was attacked first, Quantum ATL was only 15 floors beneath the area where the plane had hit. However, this fact remained unknown to Hingson and his coworkers as they escaped the building.

“We didn’t know how much [time] we had, so we put some things in the backpacks because we knew we won’t be back in the office for awhile, whatever it was [that happened], so we went to the stairs and we started down” says Hingson.

To add on to his speech, Hingson discussed his background and the challenges that he has faced and overcome with his disability.

“[The doctor] said that a blind child will never amount to anything, and all that child will do is completely disturb your family dynamic,” says Hingson.

Throughout the presentation, Hingson emphasized the fact that people must learn to change their preconceived notions about people with visual impairments. Also, he stressed the importance of teamwork and focus during times of conflict

The Student Unions Programming Board sponsored this inspiring event, and the organization plans on inviting more speakers in the future.