After Hudson Crash, A 2nd Chance At Life

Casey Jones, survivor of the flight 1549 ditching in the Hudson.

"If I prayed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I couldn't say 'thank you' enough to God," said Casey Jones.

Unlike most stories, the story of Casey Jones actually begins with the happy ending. For Casey, the safe landing of Flight 1549 was just the first of several miracles he's seen since.

A sunrise was the second.

"Magnificent. Just the color. Fantastic," he said.

Casey returned home to Jacksonville, Fla., with a whole new appreciation for both his life ... and his wife, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports.

Since the crash, those two have been clinging to each other like high school sweethearts.

Last Tuesday was the technology manager's first full day at the office. After he left, Hartman asked Judy why spending a whole day apart would be so tough.

"Every second counts right now," said Judy.

But before she could fully answer, Casey made it a moot point.

The phone rang. "It's Casey!" Judy said, agreeing to have lunch with her husband.

Clearly, in some ways, the crash has been a blessing for this father of four, albeit a mixed blessing.

"I don't know how to take things for granted anymore," Casey said.

Isn't that a good thing?

"Yeah, I think it is. But I don't know if I can live on edge like this forever," he said.

See, there's the rub.

"I can't focus," he said. "I haven't been able to read anything. My attention span … I had a train of thought there that I lost."

After the interview with CBS News, Hartman asked Casey to keep a video journal, to document all those thoughts darting through his head about the crash. The tapes show everything.

"Memories always keep coming in. I still can't really block those," said Casey on the video journal.

He went from frustration and guilt:

"I was too concerned about me and not concerned about everybody there," he said on his home-video.

And finally he found resolution.

"If somebody said to me 'If you could go back and do it over, would you change it?' and I don't know if I would knowing the outcome," he said.

As Hartman said, it's amazing how sometimes the greatest gift of all is just realizing what you already have.

"That's precious," said Casey.

  • Steve Hartman
    Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.