As any new parent would know, traveling with an infant is not an easy task. Add a toddler to the equation and you can basically guarantee a temper tantrum.
A mom from Arkansas knows this all too well, except her experience turned out quite differently than most do. When she desperately needed help, a complete stranger came to her rescue. It all happened on an American Airlines flight…
Traveling With Two Young Kids
Jessica, 34, was flying with her two young children, Caroline, 3, and Alexander, 4 months from Missouri to North Carolina. They were headed to visit her mother and as usual, Jessica planned ahead.
Unable To Nurse Her Son
But due to unexpected events, Jessica was unable to nurse her 4-month-old before boarding the plane. That’s when Caroline began kicking and screaming, “I want to get off the plane.” She said.
Jessica Thought They’d Get Kicked Off The Plane
As Caroline continued her tantrum, saying that she doesn’t want to go to North Carolina, Jessica knew it’d be any moment before they got kicked off the plane. She tried desperately to calm her children and that’s when a man sitting nearby reached for the baby.
Hesitant But Desperately Needed Help
Hesitant to hand over her newborn to a complete stranger, at that moment, all Jessica could think about was stopping Caroline from crying. She handed Alexander over to the man and tended to Caroline…
Caroline Was Calming Down
After forcing a seatbelt on her daughter and starting a movie on her tablet, she finally stopped crying. Caroline seemed settled and relatively calm, and the man continued to distract her so that Jessica could feed Alexander.
However, the kindness that this man displayed didn’t end there. During the flight, he colored with Caroline and watched the movie with her. He even engaged her in conversation, showing her all of the things outside through the plane’s window. As the plane was about to land, Jessica even caught a glimpse of Caroline sneaking a kiss on the man’s shoulder…
Sneaking A Kiss
Although she’s not sure if the man saw it, the plane was about to land and he even helped the family get off of the plane! He took out their luggage from the overhead bin and walked hand in hand with Caroline to the next gate, where they learned that they shared the same connecting flight.
Todd’s Work Route
The flight was from Charlotte to Wilmington and the man named Todd told Jessica that he frequently travels there for work. If what he did already wasn’t enough, Todd went one step further before boarding the next plane…
Todd took it upon himself to ask to have his seat changed for the next flight so that he could sit next to the family. It was the kindness that Jessica didn’t see coming, but in a moment that she desperately needed the help, she welcomed it with open arms.
Jessica Couldn’t Stop Thinking About Todd
Soon the flight came to an end, and Jessica didn’t exchange any contact information with Todd. She left the airport and drove with her children to her mother’s house in Myrtle Beach, S.C., but she couldn’t stop thinking about the kind man that helped her on the plane…
Sharing Their Story On Social Media
Jessica decided to use her social media to extend her thanks to Todd, in the hopes that he would see it. She wrote, “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.”
Asking For Help
“I’d like to find him,” she continued. “His name is Todd…He has a son at the University of Arkansas and he lives in Lenexa, KS…If you could help share this post so that I can find him, I’d really appreciate your help!” Jessica also included social media posts, complete with Todd and Caroline to try and find him…
Sharing The Post
By May 2, the Facebook post had been shared over 8,000 times and had 30,000 reactions and around 2,000 comments. This meant that Jessica’s chance of finding him were pretty high.
A short while later, Jessica posted an update on the original April 14, 2018 post. She wrote, “I’ve been connected with his wife and hoping we can get together soon!” Then, after that, the news coverage of the story was massive…
Major news outlets like ABC News, Fox News, and CBS News all shared Jessica Rudeen’s story. They wrote how this man “saved the day,” and mom’s everywhere were praising him for his “life-saving efforts,” in a situation that many moms have to experience on their own.
Both Jessica and Todd were interviewed (separately in their hometowns) to discuss that day on their American Airlines flight and they both shared their sides of what they felt during the flight. Todd Walker, 52, explained why he did what he did…
Paying It Forward
When Todd’s wife was traveling on a flight years ago, she had a similar experience when their boys were young. And just like Todd, a stranger had shown her the same kindness, making Todd eager to pay it forward. The help he offered truly came from his heart.
A New Best Friend
Todd said that he couldn’t have imagined changing his seat. He described having an amazing time with Caroline, saying, “We had a blast…When we colored, she let me color…She was like, ‘Ok, it’s your turn.’” Todd made a new best friend and within a couple of minutes, both of the children were fine before the plane even took off…
At A Loss For Words
They had no idea that while they headed off the plane that they were both going to get the same connecting flight. Jessica said, “I could have been placed next to anybody but the fact that I was with someone who was so selfless and so giving and so generous with his time…I have no words for it really.”
Jessica and Todd are hoping to meet up again and she wishes it were sooner rather than later. Todd says that what he did wasn’t that big of a deal and he’s just glad that she accepted his help.
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