Not able to hold back tears, I cried my way up the aisle.
Sometimes, luck is on your side.
Kelsey Zwick was traveling on American Airlines from Florida, taking her sick baby to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for treatment. Her daughter, Lucy, then 11-months-old, has a chronic lung disease. Lucy is a twin who was born 11-weeks early, she stayed in the NICU for 100 days after she was born. Her sister stayed 86.
"I have a baby stroller, a diaper bag, and extra oxygen concentrator that she needs when we fly," Kelsey said.
It's common to see ill children at the Orlando airport because of trips granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. However, Zwick and her baby were alone.
Meanwhile, Jason Kunselman flies around four times a week for work and has American Airlines' top frequent flier level of status. He saw Kelsey in the airport and had assumed mother and child would be sitting in the front of the plane because of all their equipment. That was not the case.
Kelsey wrote about the experience in a heartfelt post on social media. “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. The flight attendant came over and told me you were waiting to switch seats." Kunselman had asked the attendants to switch his seat with the young mom.
Not able to hold back tears, Kelsey cried her way up the aisle while little Lucy laughed! "She felt it in her bones too... real, pure, goodness," wrote Kelsey. Walking past the kind stranger, Kelsey smiled and thanked him, but didn't feel she had thanked him 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,” Zwick wrote in her post. “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.”
Kunselman, however, had thought nothing more of his good deed until he saw the post circulate online. "It was really touching," Kunselman recalled. "... She said, 'thank you.' I said, 'you're welcome.' "
Kunselman said he doesn't believe that what he did was a big deal. He just moved to a seat that was slightly smaller for a couple of hours. There's people who do so much more that don't get recognized for it.
"Hopefully someone else will do it for her on the next flight," he said. He also hopes that it will encourage others to show kindness.