Man reunited with passengers who saved his life on Orlando flight

Jerry Drouillard brought back to life on Spirit Airlines

ORLANDO, Fla. – A man whose heart stopped beating on board a Spirit Airlines flight bound for Orlando in March got to meet the passengers who helped save his life.

Jerry Drouillard said he had just completed his last round of radiation treatment for prostate cancer when he got on board the plane in Detroit on March 13.

"I said, 'Oh great. I made the flight. I'll take a nap.' And it was almost permanent," he told CBS News.

In his seat, he said, he suffered a massive heart attack. That's when passengers Sue Niehaus, Jeff Kruger and Katie Yombik jumped into action.

"This guy was on his way out," Niehaus said. "You can tell, and so he got the oxygen on him. I think Katie started the CPR."

Flight attendants helped them with an automatic defibrillator, and that's when they said Drouillard's heart started back up. He said he underwent a quintuple bypass, and he doesn't remember what happened on board that plane.

On Wednesday, Drouillard was welcomed with applause by the flight attendants on board his flight that day, as well as Niehaus, Kruger and Yombik.

"This was a real miracle that the people were there. Everything fell into place," Drouillard said. "I am so happy. Glory to God for this. Here I am."

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.