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Man saved by Good Samaritan gets to meet, thank nurse who saved his life

Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-01 19:25:25-05

CINCINNATI — Jerry Hollenkamp was driving to see a friend along Route 50 when he suddenly suffered a severe heart attack. Thanks to a passing nurse, Hollenkamp survived and gets a second chance to spend the holidays with his family.

Hollenkamp said the nurse stopped at the accident, where police and firefighters were trying desperately to break into his car to help him. The nurse managed to break the windshield on Hollenkamp's car, free him from the vehicle and begin life-saving CPR that ultimately saved his life.

But after that, the nurse disappeared and Hollenkamp couldn't remember who the Good Samaritan may have been.

Hollenkamp and his family then began a social media campaign to find the nurse responsible for saving Hollenkamp's life, so he could be thanked.

On Saturday, with the help of ABC's Good Morning America team, Hollenkamp was able to embrace Greg Collins, and thank him for his quick actions.

"I truly thought you were gone," Collins told Hollenkamp as they embraced.

"That makes two of us," said Hollenkamp.

He said he was told his heart was stopped for around 15 minutes that day, and Collins' quick work is what kept him from slipping away.

"I've never seen anybody -- I've done a lot of CPR -- I've never seen anybody that far gone come back," said Collins. "I thought about him every day."

Hollenkamp's family said thanking Collins was their one wish this holiday season, and that they can never repay him for saving their loved one's life.

The family said they're hoping Hollenkamp will be released from -- of all places -- Good Samaritan Hospital on Monday, and he'll begin physical therapy after that.