A blind man trusts his faith in God and his seeing-eye dog as he escapes the North Tower of the World Trade Centers on September 11.


To live is to trust.

That’s especially true for someone like me, blind from birth. As a child, when I was feeling frustrated by my handicap or if I ran into some other problem I couldn’t handle well on my own, I’d go to my father.

“Look inside,” he’d say. “Search deep within yourself, and find that place where God can talk to you. He’s always ready to help. All you need to do is practice listening, and trust what you hear.”

When I found myself in tough situations over the years, I’d try what Dad suggested. I’d pray and listen for that voice. Sometimes I’d hear it and other times I wouldn’t, but I never stopped practicing. On the morning of September 11, a moment came when I needed it as I never had before.

It was a little before 8:45 a.m., and I was in my office at Quantum ATL, a company that provides computer data backup systems for businesses. Quantum got its start in California, where earthquakes have made businesspeople especially sensitive to the importance of being ready for the unexpected. “Be prepared” could have been our company’s motto.

There was no question it was mine. To function effectively in an office environment, a blind person needs to be almost obsessively organized. When I arrived each morning, my guide dog, Roselle, would park herself beneath my desk until lunch, and I’d take it from there. I knew every inch of my office and could find a document or send a fax as quickly as anyone else.

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