When Jyrl Oldham became cancer-free in August, she knew she had to do something big to celebrate. Little did she know she'd get a surprise shoutout for her triumph over a loudspeaker!
Jyrl's challenging road began in March 2021 when she received a breast cancer diagnosis. She was also pregnant at the time.
“She started treatments ASAP after her daughter was born in August 2021,” said friend Valeri Jones. "After almost passing away during one of her treatments, she thought a vacation was necessary to prove to cancer it hadn’t won and she still had the strength to go on with life!”
Hawaii was Oldham's destination, along with Jones and another friend. But she had no idea what was in store for her as soon as she boarded the plane. Her husband Garrison arranged a special surprise ahead of time with the help of the airline.
Watch the touching surprise announcement from the captain in the video above.
You can see the surprise on Oldham's face as the captain says “I would like to add a special welcome to a special guest on today’s flight. We have a passenger who’s headed to Hawaii with us today to celebrate her victory over late-stage breast cancer."
The captain continues: “She fought valiantly and is now cancer-free. Please join me in giving her, Jyrl Oldham, a round of applause.”
Oldham's husband wrote an email to Southwest Airlines ahead of the flight and then printed a letter for the flight attendant.
“Jyrl, who is a former pilot herself, loved the announcement and was elated at the reaction the passengers on the plane gave her. It was a great way to kick off our trip,” Jones said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Good news: See breast cancer survivor react to surprise from pilot