“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.”
George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy and normal in every way except one. When the Hingsons switched on a light or made silly faces, Michael did not react. Ever. “My best suggestion is that you send him to a home for the blind,” the doctor continued. “He will never be able to do anything for himself.”
Forty-seven years later, a yellow Labrador retriever puppy was born in the whelping unit of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California. The puppy’s name was Roselle. On September 11, 2001, she saved Michael’s life. This is Roselle’s story too.
—From the Introduction
Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day. When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting. His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet. Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.
Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They were a team.
Thunder Dog is a story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. It illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.
Michael Hingson, national ambassador for the Braille Literacy Campaign, is a miraculous survivor of 9/11. He lives with his wife, Karen, in the San Francisco Bay Area with two guide dogs, Africa and Fantasia, and one cat, Sherlock.
Susy Flory is the author or coauthor of eight books, including the New York Times bestseller Thunder Dog. She lives in California and is the director of the West Coast Christian Writers Conference.
Blending technical information with personal stories and humor, this memoir reminisces about a life well lived.
This is an extremely pleasant walk through reminiscences in the life of a true neurosurgical giant. Colleagues and laity will gather much from his lifewell-lived and hard-workedand the sage lessons derived from the collisions of past and present, success and failure, hope and despair, are eloquently described in this story of dedication and devotion from the humble humanity of this remarkable man. I highly recommend the read.
John L. D. Atkinson MD, FACS, Professor of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota
This book is an inspiring odyssey. Its elegant prose describes the character and accomplishments of a premier neurosurgeon. His intellect and surgical prowess are responsible for important technical and conceptual advances in the challenging field of neurological surgery. This is a chronicle of a true surgeons surgeon, a valued educator, and a role model for many of his peers.
Edward R. Laws, MD, FACS, Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School
A survivor's awe-inspiring story of how she overcame tragedy and re-created herself as a wife, mother, and woman
She was a hardworking business woman, had a loving husband and an infant son, and a confidence born of intelligence and beauty. But on 9/11, good fortune was no match for catastrophe. When a wall of flame at the World Trade Center burned more than 80 percent of her body, Lauren Manning began a ten-year journey of survival and rebirth that tested her almost beyond human endurance.
Long before that infamous September day, Manning learned the importance of perseverance, relentless hard work, and a deep faith in oneself. So when the horrific moment of her near-death arrived, she possessed the strength and resilience to insist that she would not yield—not to the terrorists, not to the long odds, not to the bottomless pain and exhaustion. But as the difficult months and years went by, she came to understand that she had to do more than survive. She needed to undergo a complete transformation, one that would allow her to embrace her life and her loved ones in an entirely new way.
Fleeing the burning tower, Manning promised herself that she would see her son's face again. Courageous and inspiring, Unmeasured Strength tells the riveting story of her heroic effort to make that miracle—and so many others—possible.