Kept Alive – Onboard the Spirit…

After finishing a final round of radiation treatment for cancer, Jerry Drouillard boarded a plane for Orlando, FL. Worn out from the treatment, he decided to settle into his aisle seat and take a nap during the flight. It almost became his last.

He boarded the SPIRIT flight in Detroit; the Spirit almost transported him to the beyond. With the plane still on the tarmac, Drouillard suffered a massive heart attack.

Jeff, a passenger on the flight, had finished his CPR classes only three weeks earlier. He sensed there was something was wrong with the man and rose to help. Signaling the flight attendant to help him, neither one could find a pulse. They believed the man had died.

Staying Alive…

“You don’t normally hear someone call for 911 on a plane,” said Nurse Sue who was sitting a couple of rows back. The excitement got her attention and she hurried to offer her help. Katie, a cardiac care nurse who also sat nearby jumped in too. As medical professionals, they both realized Drouillard could be in his last moments. They put oxygen on him and Katie immediately started CPR while Sue sang “Staying Alive” to help keep the rhythm of CPR until the ambulance arrived.

Jerry now had a pulse but it was very weak. Still unresponsive, the “Spirit team” got the plane’s defibrillator and administered it.

The paramedics then rushed him to the hospital where he had a quintuple bypass. Jerry says he doesn’t remember anything that happened on the plane. He’s just happy everyone pitched in and helped keep him alive. “Don’t clap for me,” he said when meeting his ‘Spirit team.’ “All I did was survive.”

“Don’t clap for me, all I did was survive,” said Jerry Drouillard.

A Team of Strangers

Three professionals ‘just happened’ to be seated around this man – a man who just finished his CPR training, a nurse, and a cardiac care nurse. With team spirit, they along with the flight attendant worked together to keep this man alive another day.

Ironic? Coincidence? Or a miracle? Jerry believes it was a miracle.

I choose to believe that too.

This is a real miracle. The people were all there, and Iā€™m so happy for this. Everything fell into place and I give the glory to God. Here I am.ā€ Jerry Drouillard

This true-life story inspired me to write a fictional story. You may read it here.

About C.A. Simonson

C.A. Simonson is a freelance writer and author of six novels and five nonfiction books. Her award-winning short stories have appeared in seven anthologies. Close to 800 informational articles, human interest stories, content pieces, and DIY articles have been published in national print and online magazines, periodicals, and newsletters. Her books are available in paperback, digital, and audio format on Amazon, KOBO, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and or at With her love of writing and skills as a former IT help desk/trainer, she assists other aspiring authors with editing, formatting, and self-publication. C.A. Simonson lives in the Ozarks of Missouri.
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1 Response to Kept Alive – Onboard the Spirit…

  1. Pingback: Getting Ideas for Stories – The Write-Design

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