81-year-old stuck in Calif’s snowstorm survived by eating snow and croissants for a week

After getting trapped in his car during one of the recent snowstorms in California, an 81-year-old man who had been missing for almost a week was discovered to be healthy and alive.

The man was discovered on March 2 after a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew saw him waving his arm from his automobile, which was covered in snow, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

“When the crew made their way closer for inspection, a window was lowered and a person began waving from inside the vehicle,” the sheriff’s said in their statement on Saturday.

He was identified as Jerry Alan Jouret by CBS affiliate KTVN.

The sheriff’s office said that Jouret was released from the hospital later in that day.

Jouret had been reported missing since February 24. He was last heard from before traveling the roughly 170 miles from Big Pine, California, to Gardnerville, Nevada.

“I just really believe it was a miracle,” his brother, Joe Jouret, told Patch.

“[The pilot] was about out of gas,” Joe recalled when his brother was rescued. “But he looked down and he saw what looked like a rock as he looked down. He had another man with him in the helicopter…and as they looked down there, it was [my brother’s] car. He was almost buried in snow, but not quite. He took his hand out of the window and waved it.”

According to Patch, Jouret ate snow and croissants to survive the ordeal.

According to photographs shared by the sheriff’s office, the area near Death Valley Road where Jouret was found was covered in snow.

“He was smiling all the way back to the airport,” Joe said of his brother. “He was happy to get out of that situation.”