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Woman Does Unthinkable To Little Boy When He Won't Stop Crying On Plane

It was one hour into an eight-hour flight, and the flight had been delayed. A young African Muslim boy with special needs had already had enough, and he began to wail in distress.

His mother was overwhelmed. The flight crew didn't know what to do. Passengers looked on helplessly, desperate for some peace.

One woman stood up and shocked everyone when she approached the boy.

Rochel Groner from Charlotte, North Carolina and her husband, Bentzion, were chaperoning teens on a trip to Israel. The two worked with special needs children, and the minute Rochel heard the boy's cries, she immediately realized something.

"It was just kind of a shrieking without any words,” Groner says. “I recognized it right away as a child with special needs," she explained.

Rochel says she's usually pretty shy, and looks to blend into the background. This time, on this flight, she took center stage.

She believed the boy was autistic, and knew that autistic people don't like enclosed spaces, and that they need to feel in control of their environment. A plane ride can be extremely distressing to a special needs child.

The woman walked up to the boy, who was about eight years old and had tears streaming down his face. She held out her hand, and the boy immediately stopped crying and looked up at her.

He took her hand, and she walked him down the aisle to a spot on the floor next to an emergency exit.

“I put him in my lap and gave him a firm hug and I just started to rock him,” she says. His body had been tensed. Soon, “you could feel his muscles start to relax.”

Groner asked the flight attendant for a pen and grabbed a nausea bag. She started doodling, as the boy watched intently. He was absorbed in whatever Rochel drew.

The flight crew brought some comfort items: a pillow, some cookies, some juice, more air sick bags for scribbling.

For the entire flight, Rochel managed to entertain the child and keep him calm.

Bentzion, proud of his wife, snapped a picture to remember the moment.

"You don't always need to do something crazy to make a difference in someone else's life," he said. "Sometimes it's just sticking out your hand, sometimes it's just a smile... you really can change someone else's life."

He adds, "And the ripple effect could be huge."

The boy’s mother, the passengers and flight crew were very grateful to Rochel. The airline put out the following statement: "Our Brussels Airlines crew did its utmost to comfort the child, when two passengers offered their assistance as they were specialized in comforting people showing symptoms of stress,” the airline said in a statement.

“After some minutes, the symptoms disappeared. It goes without saying that our cabin crew remained during this entire period next to the child and the two passengers who were assisting and thanked the two passengers for their spontaneous support.”

“Everybody’s been on a flight with a screaming child, and this is another way to defuse the situation,” Rochel said. “Just ask: is there something I can do? Smile, don’t scowl.”

Source: The Charlotte Observer
Photo: Jewish Breaking News

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