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Stranger's act of kindness for mom, 2 kids on plane goes viral

An Arkansas mom's story of how a stranger helped her and her two young children on a flight is warming hearts across the country.

According to ABC News, Jessica Rudeen, 34, of Bentonville, ran into some trouble while traveling from Missouri to North Carolina with her 4-month-old son, Alexander, and 3-year-old daughter, Caroline.

>> RELATED STORY: Kind stranger helps mother flying alone with crying kids when no one else would

"My first flights with an infant and a toddler started out with a little panic when we boarded the plane," Rudeen wrote in a Facebook post. "My 4-month-old was screaming his head off because, due to a series of unexpected events, I was unable to nurse him before boarding the plane. My 3-year-old, who was excited before boarding the plane, lost her nerve and began screaming and kicking, 'I want to get off the plane! I don’t want to go!' I honestly thought we’d get kicked off the plane. So with two kids losing their minds, I was desperately trying to calm the situation."

Luckily, another passenger, Todd Walker, 52, was happy to help, ABC News reported.

>> Woman buys $600 worth of Girl Scout cookies, has Scouts give them out free to strangers

"This man reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet and started her movie," Rudeen wrote. "Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander. Finally, while we were taxiing, the back of the plane no longer had screams."

But Walker's kindness didn't end there. Rudeen said he also talked to Caroline during the flight and even colored and watched a movie with her. 

"By the end of the flight, he was Caroline's best friend," Rudeen wrote. "I'm not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window."

In another stroke of luck, the new friends discovered that they were connecting in Charlotte to the same flight to Wilmington.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"He helped us get off the plane and led us to the next gate with Caroline in hand," Rudeen wrote. "If that wasn’t enough, he changed his seat on the next flight to sit in our row to help us. This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person. His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness. 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."

>> Read more trending news 

Rudeen's Facebook post thanking Walker quickly went viral, with more than 28,000 likes and 7,000 shares. Although Rudeen did not have Walker's last name, social media users helped her get in touch with his wife, Stacey who said helping people is in her husband's nature.

Rudeen said she hopes that the families can get together soon.

Read more here.

>> See the full Facebook post here

Boy, 1, hospitalized after alleged beating at day care; mom says worker blamed 2-year-old girl

An Indiana mom is looking for answers after she says her 1-year-old son was beaten at day care, leaving his face bloody, cut and swollen.

According to WXIN-TV, Tiffany Griffin said an employee at the Kiddiegarden day care in Indianapolis called her Monday to say her son, Jesse, had been hurt. When Griffin saw the boy's injuries, she punched the worker, who claimed that a 2-year-old girl had attacked Jesse.

>> Mother takes to social media to warn others of dry drowning

Griffin said there's "no way" that the girl caused Jesse's injuries.

"She didn't look like she was the violent type, and her mom said she wasn't the violent type," Griffin told WXIN

The boy was being examined at a nearby hospital. No one has been arrested, but police are continuing to investigate the incident, WXIN reported.

>> Montana day care worker arrested after allegedly smoking meth on job

In a statement, Kiddiegarden said it was "deeply saddened about what took place," WXIN reported.

"This was truly a sad, shocking and unfortunate event," the statement read, in part. "We have been diligently working with law enforcement, child protective services, as well as state agencies on this matter. We have been fully cooperative and transparent with law enforcement to complete their investigation."

>> Read more trending news 

The licensed day care "has never had any accusations of abuse or maltreatment from any of our children or parents," the statement also said.

The worker reportedly was fired, WXIN reported.

Read more here.

Parents, doctor say girl allergic to water

Imagine being allergic to water. Not being able to bathe. Not being able to jump in the pool even on the hottest of days.

That’s exactly what little Ivy Angerman has to battle every day.

She’s almost 2 years old and is allergic to water, no matter hot or cold, bottled, faucet or distilled, when water gets on her, she breaks out with red, painful blisters, the television program “Inside Edition” reported.

“She can feel the reaction coming. She can feel the heat,” Brittany Angerman, Ivy’s mother, told “Inside Edition”. “She says, ‘Mommy, ouch, it’s hot, touch it.’”

>> Read more trending news 

Her doctor says Ivy suffered from aquagenic urticaria, a condition that affects fewer than 100 people in the U.S. Her baby sister is luckily not shown any signs of it.

She is so allergic that even her tears or sweat can irritate her skin, People magizine reported.

How does a family deal with simple things like bath time?

Ivy’s parents keep her inside as much as possible to keep her clean. When it’s time for a bath, she is bathed with wet wipes, “Inside Edition” reported.

Amazingly, Ivy is able to drink water without a problem and she’s been prescribed antihistamines to control the reactions. Doctors hope she will grow out of the allergy as she gets older, “Inside Edition” reported

Tennessee mom delivers own baby in Istanbul hotel room using YouTube, pocketknife, shoelaces

With resourcefulness that would put MacGyver to shame, a pregnant Tennessee woman used YouTube, an electric kettle, a pocketknife and shoelaces to deliver her own son in a foreign hotel room. 

>> New Year's baby born on freeway after South Carolina police chase

In a viral Twitter thread posted last week, Tia Freeman, 22, of La Vergne said she had already bought plane tickets to Germany for a March vacation before finding out she was six months pregnant. Thinking she had plenty of time before the baby's arrival, she decided to take the trip anyway. 

>> Read the thread here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

According to WTVF and Inside Edition, Freeman, a computer specialist for the U.S. Air Force, initially thought she had food poisoning when she started having cramps en route to Istanbul, where she had a layover, on March 7. The pain only got worse after she landed.

"I make it to my hotel & now I'm sure I'm in labor," she tweeted. "There is no way in the world I'm not in labor because I can barely standup at this point. So I'm in a foreign country, where no one speaks english, I don't know this country's emergency number, & I have no clue what to do."

So she looked it up online.

"In true millennial form I decided to @Youtube it," she tweeted. "If no one else had my back the internet would!"

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Freeman said she got into the bathtub and pushed five or six times before delivering a baby boy, Xavier Ata Freeman. After another Google search, she used an electric tea kettle to sanitize her pocketknife and shoelaces, then cut the umbilical cord.

"It's weird how focused a person becomes when [their] adrenaline starts going," she tweeted. "Because at no point ever did I freak out. Like I just did what I had to do."

The morning after Xavier's birth, Freeman brought him to the airport.

"Immediately, security knew something was up," she told WTVF. "They called in a doctor and nurse, and I called the U.S. consulate."

>> Read more trending news 

Freeman and Xavier, who quickly became viral sensations in Turkey, flew back to the U.S. two weeks later after the newborn received a birth certificate and emergency passport, WTVF reported.

"I still really don’t understand what’s so shocking about my delivery story," Freeman tweeted. "Lol maybe it’ll set in one day.”

Read more here or here.

WATCH: 3-year-old baseball player's slow-motion 'run' to home plate goes viral

There's no need for a slow-motion replay of this tiny baseball star's "run" to home plate. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to ABC News, Lennox Salcedo, a 3-year-old who plays for a pony baseball league in Walnut, California, has become a viral sensation for his hilarious response to his coach's instructions "to run home as fast as he can."

>> Read more trending news 

Naturally, Lennox did the exact opposite, delighting parents and other spectators. A video of the adorable moment, posted Sunday by Twitter user @TabbyRodriguez, has been viewed more than 5 million times.

>> Watch the video here

Read more here.

8-year-old boy dies at soccer practice

A family in West Virginia is mourning and looking to make a change at their local soccer fields after their 8-year-old son died suddenly at soccer practice.

The first practice of the soccer season had just finished Thursday when Caleb Ray told his dad he wasn’t feeling right, WSAZ reported.

“He told me, ‘Daddy I can’t see,” Ryan Ray. “He fell and started convulsing a little bit. I yelled over there to call an ambulance and everybody came running over and Kristy and I performed CPR on him until the ambulance arrived.”

Kristy Ray told WSAZ that Caleb didn’t have any signs of medical issues. He had a heart murmur as a baby and asthma, but nothing that would have caused a sudden death.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” Kristy told WSAZ. “You hear about it happening a million miles away to somebody else, in another state, you don’t know the situation. You never think it’s going to happen to your kids or even anyone you know.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Rays now want to make sure that children are given a physical before sports, but also to make sure that all sports fields have defibrillators available. One wasn’t at the fields last week.

They are also getting their daughter checked out before she hits the playing field again. 

“We don’t want her to do anything strenuous until we get a cardiac workup on her. We’re scared. We’re scared it’s going to happen again. The chances are probably slim, but if it’s any chance we don’t want to take it,” The Rays told WSAZ.

The family has been receiving donations after Caleb’s death, WSAZ reported. They will be using it to buy defibrillators for the teams in their area and they’re working with lawmakers to make sure that all games and practices have the lifesaving devices.

Brave babies get capes for National Superhero Day

National Superhero Day is Saturday and it's a day to honor the real-life, everyday heroes.

The Allegheny Health Network is celebrating by honoring its tiniest superheroes. 

PHOTOS: Brave babies get capes for National Superheroes Day

Nurses at West Penn Hospital dressed the brave babies in its neonatal intensive care unit in superhero capes. 

RELATED HEADLINE:  Superhero window washers surprise patients at Children's Hospital

>> Read more trending news 

The capes show their parents and caregivers that their tiny bodies pack a big punch and that they are amazing fighters. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

‘Safety alert’ Facebook post an example of good intentions gone awry

In the age of social media alerts, viral Facebook posts and public shaming, something occurred in our own backyards last week that can serve as an example to everyone: What you see on social media rarely tells the entire story. Take it with a grain of salt.

I first saw this Facebook post Thursday afternoon in a group for Wellington moms.

“SAFETY ALERT!!!” it began. “Ladies, my husband just had a panicked woman with a small child walk into his RPB (Royal Palm Beach) restaurant to tell him the man who walked in behind her followed her from the Buy Buy Baby parking lot. He was watching her and didn’t order anything for a while until he noticed people watching him. He continued to order a (to-go order) and then sat one table away from the woman. The police were called and asked the man to leave. They told my husband that there have been several attempted child abductions in the area of Wellington and Lake Worth lately. They are targeting women who are by themselves with their kids and then kidnapping their children! Please, please be vigilant especially when you are by yourself! If you feel uneasy, it’s probably for a reason! Make a scene and ask for forgiveness later bc it’s better to be safe than sorry!! Stay safe everyone!!”

I’m not a mom yet but I am a mom-to-be, and this had me shaken. Not just as a woman but as a woman who has been assaulted, I felt for this mother concerned for her child in a place where we should be safe: a local restaurant.

My first instinct as a reporter was to reach out to the woman who made the post. She replied politely and said her husband would be in touch with me soon. She also confirmed the restaurant: Bolay.

Then I contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to ask about the post’s claim of an increase in kidnapping attempts in our area. The response surprised me.

>> Read more trending news 

The PBSO districts that include Royal Palm Beach and unincorporated Wellington and Lake Worth did not report increased kidnapping attempts or reports of suspicious people, a spokeswoman said.

I paused. Should I continue pursuing the story? I decided to wait until I heard from the restaurant’s manager.

Meanwhile, the post had been shared thousands of times. Hundreds of people reacted. And in that time, Brian Pollack saw the post.

Pollack, 33, grew up in Wellington and recently moved to Loxahatchee. He has been married for 10 years and has two sons aged 8 and 6. He has coached baseball at the Willows in Royal Palm Beach for six years, and he’s a captain with Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

He also happens to be the man referred to in the post.

“When I read the post I thought, let me just head this off,” Pollack said. “I mean, what are the odds that this is the same situation?”

So he took to Facebook himself, typing out his side of what happened last Thursday at the Royal Palm Beach Bolay.

Pollack drove to the restaurant down State Road 7 from his unit at CubeSmart Self Storage on Belvedere Road, around the corner from the Buy Buy Baby plaza. He went to Bolay to get lunch for himself and dinner for his wife and sons. It was his first time ordering there. When he arrived, he said he sat inside for awhile before placing his to-go order because his wife had not yet replied with her order. After the food was ready, he ate his meal before leaving to pick up his sons from school.

As he left the restaurant, Pollack said he was stopped by two PBSO deputies who pulled him aside and asked him what was going on. The deputies did not ask Pollack for identification and did not take down his name, Pollack said. He explained he was picking up dinner.

“They did it properly,” he told me. “They pulled me to the side and said, ‘What happened?’ They raised no concern of me doing anything.”

The deputies did not file a report on the incident. According to dispatch logs, a woman in a gray tank top with a child told the Bolay manager that a man with a green T-shirt and black shorts was following her. When deputies arrived, they talked with the man — Pollack, whose name is not mentioned in the log. The “event comment” says the subject come to Bolay to eat and never made contact with the woman at any time.

Pollack said in writing his responses to the many Facebook posts, he thought about one thing: What would happen if someone had taken a photo of him and sent it to his chief at Delray Fire Rescue?

“I told some of my friends about it and they said, ‘That was you? Oh my God, we were talking about that for a few days,’” Pollack said.

He’s not upset with the woman who was concerned and reported him to Bolay employees. As a first responder, Pollack said he understands what she did in reaching out for help, and he’s glad she did so.

“I can’t fault the woman who feels scared,” he said. “I’m a father of two. But I can fault the person who’s spreading erroneous information.”

I once again contacted the woman who originally posted on Facebook. She and her husband declined to comment for this article. I have not been able to find the woman who thought Pollack was following her.

Pollack said he plans to reach out to Bolay to hopefully clear up any confusion. The original post since has been deleted, but copies remain on Facebook.

“This is where these groups are great, because you share this information immediately,” Pollack said. “But what are we sharing, and at what expense?”

Photos: Royal baby born: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomes third child

The newest royal baby is here! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

Mother says preschool banned daughter, other students from using term ‘best friend’

A Georgetown, Massachusetts, preschool is causing controversy by banning students from using the term “best friend.”

WFTXT reported that mother Christine Hartwell said she is outraged after a teacher at Pentucket Workshop Preschool told her 4-year-old daughter she couldn’t call one of her classmates her “best friend.”

The preschool defends its stance, saying banning the term promotes inclusion in the classroom, while Hartwell said it can end up having a negative affect on her daughter.

“How do you police a 4-year-old from expressing their feelings?” Hartwell told WFXT. “It’s outrageous. It’s silly (and) it hurts.”

>> Read more trending news 

Hartwell said she first learned of the ban after her daughter Julia came home from school one day acting differently. Julia told her mother she was upset because her teacher told her she couldn't call one of her classmates her best friend.

“When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was really sad about what her teacher did that day,” Hartwell said.

Hartwell said her daughter is now hesitant to call anyone her best friend, adding that she and her husband went to the director at Pentucket Workshop to find out more about the policy. Hartwell said it’s not spelled out in the school handbook.

The preschool sent a letter to the Hartwell family in response to the issue, saying they’ve done research on the pros and cons of using the term best friend, and that they’ll continue to discourage children from using it in group settings.

“It has been our experience (which spans decades) that the use of the term ‘best friend,’ even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded (...) which can ultimately lead to the formation of ‘cliques’ and ‘outsiders,’” the letter said in part.

Hartwell said having a best friend allow a child to feel more secure at school, and she is removing Julia from the preschool to find a new one where her daughter can still call someone her best friend.

“I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should,” said Hartwell.

The school said it has no comment on the issue.

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