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Mom Receives Photo From Stranger After Sending Autistic Son On Flight Alone
Alexa's heart dropped when she saw the stranger's photo and message.
Jenny Brown
09.08.21

It might feel like negativity fills our world sometimes. However, we must remember that there are a lot of absolutely kind and incredible people in it too.

When 7-year-old Landon Bjornson was flying by himself to visit his dad in Portland, Oregon, his mom was anxious, to say the least. Alexa Bjornson wasn’t sure how her son would do on the flight because traveling can be difficult for Landon, who has autism.

YouTube/CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube/CBS Sacramento

Since Alexa wasn’t certain how her son would behave on the flight, she made sure that he boarded the plane with a note to give to whoever sat next to him. The note would help give some insight into Landon’s behavior.

Unsplash - NeONBRAND
Source:
Unsplash - NeONBRAND

The note explained the Landon has high-functioning autism and he might repeatedly ask, “Are we there yet?” She also included a $10 bill as a ‘thank you’ for keeping him company.

YouTube/CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube/CBS Sacramento

Alexa wrote the note in the hopes that it would help keep her son feeling safe and comfortable during the flight from Las Vegas to Portland.

“I thought, how do I make it so whoever’s sitting next to him won’t look at him as a burden but more of like, I can help this kiddo get through the day,” she told local news affiliate KATU.

Posted by Alexa Bjornson onMonday, August 12, 2019

And who ended up sitting next to Landon on the flight? A very kind man named Ben Pedraza.

“We were cracking jokes, and after a while, he asked me to quit making dad jokes,” Pedraza said.

YouTube/CBS Sacramento
Source:
YouTube/CBS Sacramento

Landon handed Ben the note from his mom, along with the $10, but, of course, he didn’t accept the money. He was happy to keep the young boy company during the flight and they ended up having a great time. In fact, he thought he’d snap a photo of the two of them.

At the end of the flight, Ben sent a photo of himself with Landon, along with the sweetest message of reassurance for Alexa.

Facebook/Alexa Bjornson
Source:
Facebook/Alexa Bjornson

“(Landon) did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy. We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors,” he wrote. “He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom.”

Not only did he shock the mom by sending such a kind and compassionate message, but he also donated the $10 to The Autism Society. In honor of Landon, of course.

Alexa was beside herself when she received the message and had to share the heartwarming story on Facebook.

Today my son took his first flight to Oregon to see his dad. I sent Landon with a letter to give to whoever sat next to…

Posted by Alexa Bjornson onThursday, June 27, 2019

Once the photo was shared online, along with Ben’s note, the post immediately went viral. Since it was posted, it has been shared over 17,000 times and liked over 45,000 times. People were in awe of Ben’s compassionate attitude and actions with Landon.

“It is so GREAT to hear that there are still some GREAT people who still have a heart, & show kindness beyond belief in situations such as this one, especially with the screwed up world we live in today! Ben you’re truly an amazing person, and the kindness you showed towards Landon is something that won’t ever be forgotten,” said one commenter.

“That is sooooo nice!! So glad there are amazing people still in this crazy world,” said another.

Unsplash - Adam Nemeroff
Source:
Unsplash - Adam Nemeroff

After circulating the globe, Ben’s photo even caught the attention of the ladies out there asking if he was single.

“I’m off the market for sure, definitely, but I’m flattered,” he said.

This is the type of story that gives your soul a boost. Watch the video below to see interviews with both the mom and the kind passenger!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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