I know we have all talked about those books that you just can’t put down, this definitely fits in that category. This was a very well written book that kept me up late at nights reading. This is a TRUE story written by Michael Hingson with the help of Susy Flory. Michael has been an amazing person, in my eyes, since the day he was born. I learned so much while reading this book. For example did you know that between 1941 and 1953 more than 10,000 premature babies in the United States went blind from a procedure they thought they were using to save these premies. Back then standard medical procedure was to put a premature baby in a sealed incubator and pump in pure oxygen until the baby’s lungs matured. This practive resulted in an epidemic of blindness in preterm babies born before 32 weeks gestation. It created an eye disease called, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Michael’s parents were told they should send him to a home for the blind and that he would never be able to do anything for himself because of his blindness and that he would only be a burden to them. His parents refused and took him home treated him like a regular child from day one which carved him into the man he is today.
I read funny stories about his parents getting phone calls from neighbors that their blind son was riding his bike around the neighborhood. Michael was treated like everyone else and leaned to do everything the other kids did but just in a different way. He rode his bike around using a type of echolocation he would make a clicking noise with his mouth and listen to how it sounded coming back like a bat basically. I loved this story. Michael has had an amazing life full of adventure and near missed that he gives all the glory to God. He was once scheduled to take an American Airlines Flight 191 from Chicago to Los Angeles on May 25, 1979 but finished his work early and exchanged his ticket for an earlier flight. The next day he was in a Los Angeles cab when he heard the report. Flight 191 had crashed shortly after take off, killing all 271 people on board, plus 2 on the ground.
The story starts out on the morning of September 11th during a thunderstorm waking up to Roselle, his guide dog, being afraid and decided to get up go down to his office in the basement of their home and during this same chapter flips back to when he was 4 and first learned how to hear his environment. The book continues this way going back and forth in each chapter relating his adult life to things he learned in the past and information about his blindness and road of discovery. You will feel like you are right there with him on the 78th floor of World Trade Center Tower one that morning on September 11th, 2011. You hear the smells, the heat, the tension and sense of urgency as they near the bottom of the tower. You won’t be able to put this book down and suggest everyone read this book. I do have to admit toward the heated parts of the story I skipped a couple sections written about his blindness to keep reading about what was happening in the tower to go back later and read, lol. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars and two thumbs way up. Thank you Michael and Roselle for sharing you courageous story with us you are a shining example to everyone!
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