If you’ve ever flown with young children, you know how quickly things can go from good to incredibly stressful. Thankfully, this mother of two young children was seated next to a daymaker.
An Arkansas mom’s story of how a stranger helped her and her two young children on a flight is warming hearts across the country.
According to ABC News, Jessica Rudeen, 34, of Bentonville, ran into some trouble while traveling from Missouri to North Carolina with her 4-month-old son, Alexander, and 3-year-old daughter, Caroline.
“My first flights with an infant and a toddler started out with a little panic when we boarded the plane,” Rudeen wrote in a Facebook post. “My 4-month-old was screaming his head off because, due to a series of unexpected events, I was unable to nurse him before boarding the plane. My 3-year-old, who was excited before boarding the plane, lost her nerve and began screaming and kicking, ‘I want to get off the plane! I don’t want to go!’ I honestly thought we’d get kicked off the plane. So with two kids losing their minds, I was desperately trying to calm the situation.”
Luckily, another passenger, Todd Walker, 52, was happy to help, ABC News reported.
“This man reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet and started her movie,” Rudeen wrote. “Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander. Finally, while we were taxiing, the back of the plane no longer had screams.”
But Walker’s kindness didn’t end there. Rudeen said he also talked to Caroline during the flight and even colored and watched a movie with her.
“By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend,” Rudeen wrote. “I’m not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window.”
In another stroke of luck, the new friends discovered that they were connecting in Charlotte to the same flight to Wilmington.
“He helped us get off the plane and led us to the next gate with Caroline in hand,” Rudeen wrote. “If that wasn’t enough, he changed his seat on the next flight to sit in our row to help us. This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person. His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness. I am blown away by God’s hand in this because we could have been placed next to anyone, but we were seated next to one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life.”
Rudeen’s Facebook post thanking Walker quickly went viral, with more than 28,000 likes and 7,000 shares. Although Rudeen did not have Walker’s last name, social media users helped her get in touch with his wife, Stacey who said helping people is in her husband’s nature.
Rudeen said she hopes that the families can get together soon.