Note: we are republishing this story to highlight the importance of random acts of kindness and the positive impact they can have on people's lives.
When strangers come into contact with babies on a plane, the story hardly ever has a happy ending. However, one mother named Kelsey Zwick from Florida came forward after a recent trip because a man in first class did something for her and her baby that left her crying happy tears. After boarding American Airlines Flight 588, Zwick and her 11-month-old daughter Lucy geared up for the long flight from Orlando to Philadelphia.
Zwick, who hails from Melbourne, Florida, was worried about Lucy on the flight because the baby was not feeling well. They were heading to the lauded Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia so Lucy, who was born prematurely, could get treatment for chronic lung disease.
“Not everybody gets the opportunity to get the best care for your children. I was just grateful to be on that flight,” Zwick said.
However, a stranger, seated in first class, managed to give Zwick another reason to be grateful that she booked that American Airlines flight from Orlando to Philadelphia.
When Lucy and mom settled into their seat, way back in crowded coach, Zwick had to figure out how to arrange Lucy’s diaper bag and oxygen tank. As she struggled with the tight space, a flight attendant came up to her with some surprisingly good news. A man in first class, whom they had passed on their way to the back of the plane, wanted to give up his seat so Zwick and Lucy could be more comfortable on the long flight.
“At first, I didn’t really understand what she was saying,” Zwick said of the flight attendant. “When I realized that it was someone showing kindness to us, I just started crying.”
These happy tears were exactly what Zwick needed on her trip to Philadelphia to help her daughter treat her lung condition.
The man who gave up his seat turned out to be hero Jason Kunselman from Mechanicsburg, PA. He saw the mom carrying the oxygen tank along with her baby and wanted to help.
“She had gotten on the plane on the line ahead of me,” he told NBC News. “Other people started piling on, and I thought she’d be more comfortable in my seat.”
Kunselman’s actions were simple but made a big difference for the young mom struggling to take care of her 11-month-old sick baby.
Kunselman added that his birthday was the day after the flight, so he was glad he could share some of his birthday luck with the mother and her baby.
“It was the perfect birthday gift, seeing that I could help someone else out and make someone happy,” the Good Samaritan said.
Although Kunselman’s act of kindness was quick, it left Zwick with a warm, open heart. It meant a lot to her to know that there are strangers out there looking out for her and her sick baby.
Kunselman admitted that Zwick’s emotional reaction got to him.
“She walked up crying. I’m not much of a crier, but it was hard not to,” he admitted. “One flight attendant put her hand on my cheek and said, ‘God will repay you for this.’”