It can be always a daunting experience when you board a plane with a young baby. Babies are unpredictable by nature, and when you’re in a confined space with a lot of strangers, a squalling, screaming child isn’t ideal
Kelsey Zwick couldn’t have predicted the way one of her fellow flyers would react when boarding a flight from Orlando to Philadelphia with Lucy, her 11-month-daughter.
The mother was on her way to Children’s Hospital (CHOP) with her little daughter, who had been born 11 weeks premature with her identical twin sister Eva.
Kelsey hadn’t long sat down in her seat when a flight attendant approached her with a message from another passenger. His words left her in tears …
When Lucy was born, she was blue and “very sick”. After coming into the world after just 29 weeks, the little girl was suffering from severe chronic lung disease as a result of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome – a direct complication of Kelsey’s pregnancy. The baby was placed on maximum support for her lungs shortly after being delivered.
Some months later, Lucy and Eva could finally go home, having been forced to stay in the NICU. Even then, Lucy required oxygen around the clock for some time after.
As time passed, the baby’s need for the extra oxygen wained despite the fact that she was still reliant on it at night time and when flying. It was the latter point that became of instant interest to Jason Kunselman of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Jason Kunselman, who is an industrial engineer by trade, he was flying back home on his birthday after working in Florida. He had booked a first-class ticket for that reason, and he was settling down to get ready for his journey when he spotted Kelsey and Lucy boarding.
This man took note of Lucy’s oxygen machine, which couldn’t be put in the overhead lockers and so had to sit beside Kelsey for the entire ride.
He had formulated a plan before he called over the flight attendant.
Kelsey explained in a Facebook post: “We had smiles on our faces as we were headed to see her ‘friends’ at CHOP,”
“We pre-boarded the plane, got cozy in our window seat and made jokes to those around us about having to sit by my yelling-but-happy baby.”
It was then that a flight attendant approached and told Kelsey Zwick that the kind man in 2D was waiting to switch seats.
Kelsey wrote in her post: “You were giving up your comfortable, first-class seat to us,”
Indeed, Jason’s gesture touched her so much that she began to cry. “Not able to hold back tears, I cried my way up the aisle while my daughter Lucy laughed! She felt it in her bones too… real, pure, goodness. I smiled and thanked you as we switched but didn’t get to thank you properly. Sooo… thank you. Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy. For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US.
“It reminded me how much good there is in this world. I can’t wait to tell Lucy someday. In the meantime… we will pay it forward. It was a gesture of someone saying, I SEE you and this is what I can do.”
“As I sat in the roomy seat, I couldn’t help but reflect. First, the long road on not knowing if we could have children of our own. We got pregnant and were diagnosed with TTTS, a rare complication. Overnight we had to fly across the country to get a fetal surgery when I was pregnant. We didn’t know if they would survive the procedure but these girls are fighters! They did amazing!”
Jason Kunselman’s post on Facebook gained thousands of likes, comments and shares from the Internet users. It seems that a kindhearted gesture might not seem like much at the time, but it’s precisely these gestures that prove themselves to be huge in the long run. If all of us tried our best to be mindful, and do at least one kind thing every week, the world would be a better place to live in.