When Jessica Rudeen, a 34-year-old mom from Bentonville, Arkansas, took an American Airlines flight to Wilmington, North Carolina, on April 10, she didn't know that an act of kindness from a stranger would not only alter the course of her flight, but also the lives of all involved.
The trouble began when Rudeen was boarding the plane with her her two kids: a four-month-old baby and three-year-old toddler. Due to complications checking in, she had been unable to feed her youngest, and by the time they were taking their seats both children were in full-on meltdown mode.
Enter 51-year-old Todd Walker, a lumber company worker in Kansas City. Playing out like a scene from the hidden camera show What Would You Do?, Walker came to the rescue. As he explained to Insider:
...I see this mom coming around the corner, and she has these giant eyes that are just filled with fear. Her kids are tired and angry and stressed. Can I hold that little guy?
Walker proceeded to help out until the baby was fed and both kids had settled down.
Here's a link to the full play-by-play:
Rudeen was so taken with the stranger's kindness that after the flight she posted about it on Facebook in an effort to contact him. She wrote:
This guy showed me kindness and compassion that I've never known from another person. 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.
It didn't take long for the story to go viral. Within hours Rudeen and Walker were reconnected. Now they are friends and are planning to get together again soon.