COLLEEN OBRIEN

The saving grace of a stranger on a plane

Apr 18, 2018, 3:04 PM
plane, flight...
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

It’s a situation both parents and (some) non-parents dread: an unruly child on a flight. Is it annoying as a passenger just looking for peace and quiet? Sure. But now that I’m a parent, I try to take a more sympathetic approach and so did Todd Walker of Lenexa, Kansas.

He became the seat-mate of a toddler who was having a rough go of her day, but he was able to show grace in this situation. It started when Jessica Rudeen had to fly with her toddler and baby alone. She always plans ahead, but nothing can prepare you for a day when both children are feeling “off.”

“The baby was hungry, he’d been up since 4:30 a.m., my daughter lost her nerve and started screaming ‘I want to get off the plane, I want to go’,” Rudeen explained to FOX 4 in Kansas City.

With a stiff upper lip, Rudeen boarded the flight. That’s where she met Walker.

“The next thing I saw was a mom looking around the corner at me with big eyes and two kids in tow that were both having a bad day, both screaming,” Walker said.

But rather than roll his eyes, give deep, passive-aggressive sighs, or change seats, Walker embraced the mess.

“When he reached for Alexander it was just a huge feeling of relief,” Rudeen said.

“She was able to get Caroline strapped in and then I handed the baby back and she was able to give him a bottle and start feeding him which helped a little bit and within a couple minutes they were fine,” Walker said.

He spent the flight observing things out of the plane window and coloring with Caroline. Rudeen was amazed and grateful for the help. Then, they both realized that they were on the same connecting flight, too. The kindness continued.

“After the first flight, he helped us off the plane, he helped open up the stroller, put the car seat in the stroller, and then he just kind of took the lead and led us to the next gate,” Rudeen said.

“I changed my seat at sat with them and made new friends,” Walker said.

“I could have been placed next to anybody and the fact that I was placed next to someone who is so selfless, I mean, so giving and so generous with his time it’s just… I have no words for it really,” Rudeen said.

Walker doesn’t think it’s a big deal. He says it’s easier to help someone than you think.

Colleen OBrien

Mandy Nottingham, 45, and her dog “Betty Boop” are homeless in Aberdeen, WA....
Colleen O'Brien

New Quinault Wellness Center aims to combat ever-growing Fentanyl crisis

In King County alone, nearly 400 people died after using fentanyl in 2021, which is a very high number considering that number was just three in 2015.
7 days ago
girl scout, cookie...
MyNorthwest Staff

New cookie, return to in-person sales could help boost Girl Scout funds in 2022

It's Girl Scout cookie season again. Three local scouts joined KIRO Newsradio to talk about this year's new cookie and what the money raised will support.
4 months ago
Holiday spending at Christmas...
MyNorthwest Staff

Holiday spending expected to set massive records in 2018

With the season kicking into full gear, holiday spending is poised to set records across the United States. But not everyone is spending the same.
4 years ago
Cindy Meyer...
Colleen O'Brien

Cougs fans step up to help alum still in need of kidney donor

Cougs alum Cindy Meyer has been in need of a kidney donor for awhile now, but the hope now is that with some help from her fellow Cougs, she could find one soon.
4 years ago
brownie...
Colleen O'Brien

Everett Brownie troop uses cookies sales to save pets

An Everett Brownie troop decided to do some good with profits from cookie sales.
4 years ago
Colleen O'Brien

Officer with plenty of ‘sole’ helps community

A longtime Dallas police officer has a side passion-project that came to him through his police work.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
The saving grace of a stranger on a plane