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See how a stranger consoled a terrified 96-year-old woman on a flight

During a Southwest flight to Nashville, a San Diego woman captured a stranger's random act of kindness, where he hugged a 96-year-old woman in distress.
/ Source: Today

During a Southwest flight to Nashville, a San Diego woman captured a stranger's random act of kindness on camera and when she later shared the photos with a sweet note on Facebook, the moment quickly went viral.

Educator Megan Schofield was sitting near a 96-year-old woman who hadn't flown in 15 years. After becoming distressed, the elderly woman ended up turning to a passenger seated next to her for comfort.

"She had mentioned at some point early in the flight that she hasn't traveled in 15 years and was traveling to Kansas City to spend her 96th birthday," Schofield told TODAY. "She kind of caught my attention because she just reminds me so much of my grandmother who I had recently lost in the fall."

The woman's resemblance to Schofield's grandmother is what moved her, as she hoped that if her own grandmother was in a similar situation, a good Samaritan like the gentleman would have also consoled her nana in a similar way.

Megan Schofield and her grandmother.
Megan Schofield and her grandmother. Megan Schofield

"Throughout the flight, she turned to him for consoling," Schofield explained. "He just really tried to make her feel comfortable through the whole flight.

"During turbulence, which is one of those pictures when she was hugging him, he helped her out. And then again during landing. Anytime there was a little bit of a reason why she would be a little bit scared, she turned to him for comfort," continued Schofield.

Megan Schofield

A few days after her flight, Schofield was still thinking about what happened. She took to social media to share the images and talk about why the event impacted her so much.

"I walked away sobbing happy tears being so thankful for people like this wonderful human," she wrote in the post. "She was so grateful that she wanted him to have her flight pretzels. Hats off to you sir, for your kind heart and your compassion toward someone whom you’ve never met. I have never been so touched on a flight before. This truly made my week."

Since Schofield first shared the story in July, her Facebook post has been shared more than 78,000 times.

Schofield's post was shared so much, that a family member of Ben Miller called him up to ask if he was the person in the post.

He was.

"It's pretty surreal," the husband and father of one told TODAY. "I don't even know that I necessarily appreciate it. I'm not a Facebook person myself. And so it was pretty wild. I was traveling alone, I didn't know anybody on the plane. You certainly don't think anybody is paying attention to you. So to get a text from somebody a few days later after the flight saying, 'Hey, is this you?' It's crazy."

Ben Miller with his family.
Ben Miller with his family.Philanthropy Photography

But Miller believes it wasn't his random act of kindness on its own that people are loving, but the way Schofield shaped the whole experience with her words and feelings on Facebook.

"To see what it's done in terms of taking off, I think Megan really gets the credit for that because I think the interaction that I had with Virginia was maybe somewhat unique, but I'd like to think that it wasn't all that uncommon," he shared.

On what she hopes people take away from this, Schofield said for others "to not overlook where help is needed, especially while traveling."

"We're just so rush, rush, rush to get from A to B. Slow down and look around and see where you can be helpful," she said.