- A man was helped by strangers after he was stranded
- He was on his way to witness the birth of his first child
- A woman offered to take him on the eight-hour drive home
A man almost missed the birth of his first child, if it weren't for some kind strangers. Seth Craven was running out of time to get to the delivery after his flight was delayed.
The 26-year-old took off at 6am. last Monday from Afghanistan, where he serves with the West Virginia National Guard. He flew to Kuwait and then to Philadelphia, then things took a disappointing turn.
He was supposed to catch he next flight home but it was delayed due to bad weather. Craven stayed overnight in a hotel near the airport and was supposed to get another flight the next morning.
His wife, Julie, was scheduled to deliver the following morning.
Craven and other passengers were on board Thursday morning and getting ready to leave when a maintenance issue required them to return to the terminal. After about half an hour of being seated on the plane, everybody got off and went back inside. To make things worse, there was another unexplained delay until the late afternoon.
The soldier was starting to panic. He couldn't even rent a car because the storm from the previous night cause many to opt to drive - therefore no cars were available.
“The next flight wasn’t until 10:30 a.m. the next day. So I would have missed all of it.”
Fortunately, word of of his plight spread through the airport terminal. His story reached Charlene Vickers, programs director for AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership. Vickers and a few of her colleagues were trying to fly to Charleston for a Healthy Hoops programme targeting asthma and obesity in Charleston.
Vickers was also on deadline. Her group was supposed to start at noon Friday. She lived in the Philadelphia area, so her car was parked at the airport.
She introduced herself to Craven and said:
“I’m getting to West Virginia tonight, come hell or high water. So are you willing to join this crazy party of ours?”
Craven didn't need any convincing. He hopped into the car for the eight-hour drive. The group arrived at his house just past midnight. And at 1am on Friday morning, his healthy baby boy was born.
“It’s been an awesome few days. I definitely want people to realise there are nice people out there.”
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!