Elderly woman lets stranded dad and his newborn baby stay with her after airline denies them

Preeti Pillai
Apr 12, 2018
10:55 P.M.

The father was struggling with a 4-day-old baby girl when the woman observed them.


An article published by Goodfullness covered an exemplary incident that showed how an older woman’s kindness gave hope to a helpless man and his baby in a desperate time of need.

Cleveland-based Ruben Swift was thrilled to travel to Phoenix, as he was going to pick up his 4-day-old daughter and bring him home.

When the baby, little Ru-Andrea, was released to his custody from the Banner University Medical Center, the staff took the extra step of writing a note verifying that Swift be allowed to fly back home with his baby.

He was scheduled to fly with Frontier Airlines, and when he spoke to the airline staff at the airport, they denied him permission to catch the flight with the child.


Despite the letter, Swift was told that the airline had a policy that babies need to be at least 7 days old before they can be allowed on a flight.

This meant that Swift and Ru-Andrea would have to stay back in Phoenix for three days before they could go back home. With no accommodations in place, Swift found himself in a fix.


The only person in Swift’s mind who could offer some help was Joy Ringhofer, who was a volunteer at the hospital from which Ru-Andrea released.

Swift and Ringhofer had spoken briefly at the hospital at the time of the release, and he reached out to her immediately looking for guidance.

Ringhofer’s reply came as a surprise. She told Swift that she was driving to the airport to pick them up, and she would take them to her home.

Hearing this unexpected response, Swift assumed that she would probably offer to drive him and his daughter to Cleveland.

However, Ringhofer had a better idea that would save Swift a lot of money and trouble. She drove them to her home, and let them stay with her for the following three days.


Ringhofer prepared meals for Swift and also took care of all the baby’s needs before they were ready to catch a flight to Cleveland.

The seasoned volunteer shared that she let them in her house based on her instinct that Swift was a gentleman who was in dire need of help.

To Ringhofer, it might have seemed like something that anyone ought to do, but Swift expressed his gratitude for her kind gesture. He shared that she gave them shelter, even though they belonged to a different origin and background.

She loved Ru-Andrea and stayed by her side through the night and woke up when the baby couldn’t sleep.

Even though Swift and Ru-Andrea are back to Cleveland, he promised to visit Ringhofer every now and then, as she has become family.

He considers her nothing short of the grandmother to his child and a mother figure to himself.

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