Traveling is always a bit of a headache, especially during the holidays, but it’s always more difficult traveling with sick children.
Yet, for Kelly Zwick, it’s not just a matter of packing some cough drops and a asking the flight attendants for a cold towel. No, when it comes to Kelly’s daughter Lucy it’s a much more involved process.
About a year ago, Kelly and her husband welcomed the double blessing of twin daughters. However, it wasn’t without some fearful moments. Lucy and Eva were born premature at just 29 weeks.
As a result of this, Lucy suffers from a disorder known as Twin Transfusion Syndrome which presents as a chronic lung disease. So, along with a diaper bag, stroller, and everything else, Lucy needs a portable oxygen machine.
However, one good thing about traveling during the holidays is that this time of year puts even the Scrooge-iest of Scrooges in a giving mood. You definitely don’t need any visits from the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, or Future to do a simple good deed.
That’s what one passenger on a recent American Airlines flight did, after he saw Kelly navigating the airport and into her coach seats with all her stuff.
Because of Lucy’s illness, Kelly and she boarded the plane first. Thankfully, she didn’t have to try to store all of her stuff while dozens of other passengers all took their seats. Still, to get to her coach seats, she had to walk past the spacious and glamorous first class section on the plane.
Kelly and Lucy were in good spirits, boarding the plane not for holiday travel but to see “her ‘friends’ at” the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As the other passengers boarded, Kelly tried to break the ice and the tension by joking about passengers being forced to sit near her “yelling-but-happy baby,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
That’s when a flight attendant approached her. When a flight attendant seeks you out on a plane before it takes off, it’s usually bad news. Either the flight is oversold and you have to give up your seat, or something even worse.
But instead, the flight attendant told her that a passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, offered Kelly and Lucy his first-class seat.
“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.”
Now, instead of making do in the cramped quarters of coach with Lucy, her oxygen, and the rest of her stuff, the two of them could really stretch out.
Kelly also wrote that she cannot wait to talk about this “random act of kindness” to Lucy when she’s old enough to understand what happened.
However, this simple act may benefit many more people than just Kelly, Lucy, and Eva.
In her Facebook post to thank the passenger who gave up his costly seat for her and Lucy, Kelly promised that he inspired her. She promised that her family will pay it forward, meaning taking the opportunity to something kind for a stranger when they can.
Yet, since she wrote her post on social media, it’s been shared nearly a half-a-million times! As the post spreads further and articles like this are written, it can serve as reminder for us to get in the spirit of the season and help a stranger if we can.
That’s the power of a good deed. Something as simple as taking a slightly less comfortable seat on a plane can possibly inspire thousands of people to deploy a random act of kindness in their lives.