“Oh my God, I’m drowning.”
The words of Hailey Brouillette, 53, were the first viewers heard as they watched a startling viral video of Brouillette slowly sink into Louisiana floodwaters last month, trapped inside a red convertible she had borrowed from a friend.
Several men on a boat came alongside her and one of them, David Phung, 27, leapt into the brown water to save her.
Phung wrenched Brouillette from the submerged car, then went back for Sassy, her white poodle-mix.
The two didn’t have much time for pleasantries after the rescue, but on Monday, Brouillette and Phung met for the first time since that day.
“I know I don’t know you, but I love you,” Brouillette told Phung, according to The Associated Press.
Phung brought along supplies for Brouillette, who lost her home and belongings to the historic flooding.
The Louisiana floods displaced tens of thousands and will go down as one of the worst natural disasters in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Phung spent two days rescuing people, though he says no rescue of his was more intense than when he pulled Brouillette out of the convertible.
“It’s just who we are in Louisiana,” Phung said. “We help people in times of need.”