Jessica Rudeen was experiencing every parent’s (second) worst fear – sitting on board a plane with screaming children she couldn’t calm down.
On the US mum’s first flight with her children, her four-month-old son and three-year-old daughter were both in tears. Her eldest was throwing a tantrum, yelling, “I want to get off the plane! I don’t want to go!”
At this point, Jessica thought she and her children were going to get kicked off the American Airlines flight to Charlotte, North Carolina.
And then a stranger stepped in.
The man sitting next to Jessica helped her calm both her children down. His tale of kindness, which the mum wrote about on Facebook, has now been liked and shared by thousands of parents around the world.
"This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person," she wrote.
Jessica explained that as both her children were "losing their minds", Todd Walker, without being asked, offered to hold her son, Alexander, while she settled her daughter, Caroline.
"This man reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet and started her movie."
But he wasn't done with helping the family.
Holly Wainwright speaks about the reality of being in a hotel room with small children. Post continues.
"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.
"During the flight, he colored and watched a movie with Caroline, he engaged in conversation and showed her all the things outside.
"By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend."
Before their plane touched down, they learned they were both stopping over in Charlotte on their way to Wilmington, North Carolina.
"He helped us get off the plane and led us to the next gate with Caroline in hand.
"If that wasn’t enough, he changed his seat on the next flight to sit in our row to help us."