Mother of 2 was worried she'd get kicked off her flight, then a kind stranger came to the rescue
When Jessica Rudeen boarded her flight with her two young children — one who was "screaming his head off" and the other who "lost her nerve" — she thought she was going to be kicked off her flight from Kansas City to North Carolina.
"So with two kids losing their minds, I was desperately trying to calm the situation," she posted on Facebook.
But it wasn't working.
That's when the stranger sitting next to her stepped in to help.
He held 4-month-old Alexander and helped 3-year-old Caroline get her movie started, according to the post.
"Finally, while we were taxiing, the back of the plane no longer had screams," Rudeen, of Arkansas, posted.
Throughout the flight, the stranger — who she only knew as Todd — colored and watched movies with Caroline, while pointing out what they were flying over through his window seat.
At the time, Rudeen only knew that this man was from Lenexa, and that he has a son enrolled at the University of Arkansas. Lenexa is a suburb southwest of Kansas City.
"By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend," Rudeen said. "I’m not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window."
Both Rudeen and Todd had the same layover in Charlotte with a final destination in Wilmington, N.C.
"He helped us get off the plane and led us to the next gate with Caroline in hand," Rudeen said. "If that wasn’t enough, he changed his seat on the next flight to sit in our row to help us."
Thankful for the kindness and compassion Todd showed her, Ruden took to Facebook in hopes of reconnecting with the man.
"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," she posted on Saturday. "I’d like to find him."
That same day, Stacey Walker got a text from a friend who heard about the post from "a friend who heard it from a friend of a friend."
Stacey, Todd's wife, said both she and her husband were shocked. That post now has more than 4,500 shares.
"He just thought he'd go about his day — just an opportunity to be a blessing to somebody and then go on," Walker said. "He didn't think about an opportunity to see her again and meet up. He's humbled by it."
Todd Walker told FOX4KC that helping someone is easier than you might think.
"If you think you can, or if they certainly ask you for it, step up and help them," he told the TV station. "You know, it doesn't cost you anything to step up and give them a hand."
Rudeen, her children and the Walkers are planning to meet again soon.
"I think it will be a lifelong connection," Stacey said. "They don't feel like it was a coincidence. They think it was for a reason — they both have faith."