Rubin Swift was stranded with his 4 days old daughter at the airport in Phoenix. When Rubin asked the Frontier Airlines if he could fly with his daughter, they asked him to provide them with his daughter’s birth certificate. They also told him that the baby has to be of minimum seven days old to fly.
Rubin was stranded with daughter and he wondered how he would survive next three days. He said “I was out of money and the hospital told me that I wouldn’t be able to get a birth certificate for seven days,” Rubin, is from of Cleveland, Ohio, he is of 43 years age. He said “I was worried that if security saw me sleeping at the airport with a newborn, they’d take her away from me and charge me with neglect. I was stuck.”
Rubin was in a relationship and he had flown to Phoenix to get the custody of his daughter. While sitting at floor of the airport, Rubin got reminded of a volunteer lady from Banner University Medical Center. The lady had driven Rubin and his daughter to the airport and had shared her phone number with him. Rubin had met the elderly lady, Joy Ringhofer, 78, at the newborn care unit where his daughter Andrea was placed as a precautionary measure. Rubin, who had flown to Phoenix to get custody of the baby from his previous relationship, suddenly thought of the friendly Banner University Medical Center volunteer who had offered to drive him to the airport that day and had given him her phone number.
Rubin called Joy and told him about his situation. Joy immediately said that she will come back to airport to pick him up.
Joy told to PEOPLE “I told him, ‘I’m going to take you home with me, so wait right there.” Rubin runs a small deli and has three children from his first marriage and has four step children with Tiffany. Rubin said “I’m bl-ack and she is white. I’m a stranger who grew up in the projects in the Bronx and she’s a great-grandmother who recently lost her husband. She knew very little about me, and yet, she took me in. Color wasn’t an issue to her. She showed me that in this crazy world, there is still compassion.”
Earlier in March, Rubin and Tiffany got to know that his daughter Andrea is born. Rubin had little funds, so they could arrange for only one ticket to go and get his daughter. He flew to Phoenix and thought he would come in two-three days with his daughter. When Rubin called Tiffany about the situation, she got panicked. She said “When he called me from the airport and told me that they weren’t going to let him fly until he could get a birth certificate in four days, I felt panicked.
Tiffany works as a security officer in Cleveland, she said “We didn’t have the money for a hotel room or a rental car and I didn’t want him to sleep at the airport. I was sc-ared because it looked like we were out of options.” Rubin told Tiffany that Joy had helped him and he would stay with her till the time he gets Andrea’s birth certificate. Rubin told to PEOPLE that “Miss Joy was like an angel and she’d really bonded with Andrea. Whenever my daughter heard her voice, her face would light up. As soon as she took us in, I knew we’d be friends for life.”
Joy had lost her husband due to Parkinson’s disease. She said she felt she should help Rubin when she heard his dilemma. She told PEOPLE “There are a lot of dangers out there, but there’s a lot of good too. I had enjoyed talking to Rubin at the hospital and helping him with the baby. He was polite and kind and I could tell that he had a good heart.” During his stay at Joy’s place, Rubin said he and Joy spent lot of time in talking about their familiers. Joy has four children, seven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He said they go on walks with Andréa and go for grocery shopping. Rubin even went to Joy’s husband’s gr-ave.
Rubin said, “I could see the pain in her face from losing her husband,” At the cem-etery, Joy sat with Andrea and said ‘Hey, Charles, look — it’s your new granddaughter.” Rubin said, he had lost his mother in 2007, and with Joy by his side, he felt a connection as if she was his mother.
He said “Joy really became like a mother or grandmother figure to me.” Later when Rubi and Andrea were going back to airport Joy says, “We just knew that we’d always be in touch from that day forward.” Joy stays in touch with Rubin and Tiffany through social media platforms.
Joy says, “We started out as strangers, and ended up as good friends. Rubin is very grateful to me, but I’m also very grateful to have had the opportunity.” For Rubin and Tiffany they say this is an inspiring incident and this will make people help others. Rubin told to PEOPLE “If you see an elderly person struggling to walk home, pull over and offer a lift. If you see somebody who doesn’t have enough money for bus fare, offer to help them out. Pay it forward — that’s what I’m taking away from this. Let’s return to a time when we all cared about one another. That’s what I’m hoping will happen.”