Blind man who fell on Harlem subway tracks gets new service dog, keeps pooch who helped save him

Credit: Guiding Eyes
Cecil Williams with retired guide dog Orlando, left, and new service pooch Godiva, right. Credit: Guiding Eyes

A blind New Yorker whose service dog helped him escape death on Manhattan subway tracks last month has a new guide pooch, but gets to keep his old companion.

Cecil Williams, 60, nearly died after falling before an oncoming train in Harlem Dec. 17 when his loyal guide dog Orlando jumped after him.

After reports that Williams would lose Orlando, close to retirement age of 11, because his insurance would only pay for a working service dog, anonymous donors pitched in.

Williams can now keep Orlando, but also has a new service dog named Godiva, a yellow labrador who recently graduated from a training program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

“I feel that I was blessed with Orlando, right? And now I’m being blessed again,” Williams said with the two pooches on “The Today Show” Monday.

After Williams’ fall on the tracks, he and Orlando survived when a transit flagmen yelled and they hid in the trough between the rails. Orlando hovered over Williams as a train stopped above them.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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