A man was flying first class on his birthday when a young mom boarded the same flight. Her baby was sick but happy. When the infant began to yell, the mom casually joked with other passengers about it. Then, the flight attendant approached. Before she knew it, she was being escorted out of her seat in tears.
Kelsey Zwick was flying from Orlando to Philadelphia with her 11-month-old daughter Lucy when things took a shocking turn after she boarded her American Airlines flight with the sick infant. She was headed to Children’s Hospital (CHOP) with Lucy, who was born 11 weeks premature along with her identical twin sister Eva.
Although Eva was born crying and breathing, Lucy was blue and “very sick,” her mom explained. Sadly, born at 29 weeks gestation, Lucy suffered from severe chronic lung disease as a result of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a complication of the pregnancy, according to Fox News. After she was born, Lucy was immediately placed on maximum support for her lungs.
Kelsey Zwick with her husband and one of their twin daughter’s in the NICU (Photo Credit: Kelsey Zwick)
Lucy and Eva both spent months in the NICU before being cleared to go home. For quite some time afterward, though, Lucy still required oxygen at all times of the day. But, as the brave little girl was getting better, her need had decreased. She still needed the assistance of supplemental oxygen at night and while flying, however. That’s what caught the attention of 46-year-old Jason Kunselman of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Jason, an industrial engineer, was flying back to his home state on his birthday after working on a project in Florida, Daily Mail reported. He had booked a first class seat and was just getting comfortable when he saw Kelsey boarding the plane with Lucy. And, he couldn’t help but noticed the little girl’s oxygen machine. He realized the medical device couldn’t be put overhead and would have to be with Kelsey the entire time. Seeing this as a problem, he called for a flight attendant.
Kelsey believes she was pushing the stroller with a diaper bag on her arm while also lugging the oxygen machine for her daughter when Jason first saw her. “We had smiles on our faces as we were headed to see her ‘friends’ at CHOP,” Kelsey explained in a Facebook post. “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.”
That’s when the flight attendant approached the unsuspecting mom with a message from Jason. She came over and told Kelsey the man in 2D was waiting to switch seats. “You were giving up your comfortable, first-class seat to us,” a very grateful Kelsey revealed in her post, addressing Jason and thanking the kind stranger for his selfless generosity. Although she admits it took her a moment to realize why Jason wanted to switch seats, when it sunk in that a perfect stranger just wanted to bless her and her daughter, she began to bawl.
Jason Kunselman (right) gave up his first-class seat when he saw Kelsey Zwick with her daughter Lucy (left) (Photo Credit: Kelsey Zwick, Jason Kunselman)
“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,” Kelsey wrote. “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,” she continued.
“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,” Kelsey added. “It was a gesture of someone saying, I SEE you and this is what I can do,” she said, saying that Jason’s one small deed reminder her how “blessed” she and her husband truly are.
“As I sat in the roomy seat, I couldn’t help but reflect. First, the long road on not knowing if we could have children of our own. We got pregnant and were diagnosed with TTTS, a rare complication. Overnight we had to fly across the country to get a fetal surgery when I was pregnant,” Kelsey revealed. “We didn’t know if they would survive the procedure but these girls are fighters! They did amazing!” she furthered.
Kelsey hopes others are inspired by the kindness Jason showed her and Lucy. “You never know what people are going through,” she said. “One small act of kindness is a ripple effect!” she continued. “[And] when you get to the other side of your struggle – whatever that looks like – pay it forward!” Kelsey added. “The world is hungry for kindness… and I hope this expands far beyond what happened to us, ” she concluded, and it most certainly did. The inspirational post went viral because, in Kelsey’s own words, the whole world clearly needed Jason’s kindness.