A flight attendant’s act of kindness toward a disabled passenger was so compassionate that it moved him to tears, and now pictures of the heartwarming incident have many netizens tearing up as well.
Passengers on a Dec. 8 Hainan Airlines flight from Zhengzhou to Haikou city were touched as they witnessed flight attendant Fan Xuesong kneel down to hand-feed a 71-year-old man named Mr. Niu, reports the People’s Daily Online.
Mr. Niu, a retired professor of medicine, can no longer hold a spoon and is wheelchair-bound and partially paralyzed because of a recent stroke.
On his flight, Mr. Niu was moved to the first row of cabin so that he would have more room and an easier time accessing the restroom. His wife, who is his only caretaker along with his child, was not transferred and so had to sit apart from him.
When Fan noticed Mr. Niu having difficulty eating his meal, she didn’t think twice about helping.
“When I said I wanted to feed him, he suddenly felt touched and started to cry,” she told reporters after the photos went viral in China.
Kneeling down in front of him, she began to patiently spoon Mr. Niu rice. When he had a hard time chewing the rice without choking, she fetched a box of noodles to feed him instead.
Her response to his difficulties made Mr. Niu cry even more and so she went to get tissues to dab his tears away.
The moment was captured by a fellow passenger who uploaded the pictures to Weibo, China’s social media equivalent of Twitter, where it was then shared by millions, according to the Daily Mail.
“Someone tried to take her photo and she asked them not to. I couldn’t help but cry as she helped me eat, blew my nose and wiped away my tears,” Mr. Niu told reporters. “I do not know the girl’s name but given the chance I would thank her again.”
Fan, who is single and has been a flight attendant for 11 years, said of her act: “Mr. Niu worked hard all his life and contributed to society, we should be kind to him.”