Story Behind Viral Photo of Man Holding a Stranger's Baby Is Incredibly Sweet

A woman named Natasha Crittenden Wilson happened to see a random act of kindness at her doctor's office, took a photo, and the rest is viral history.

October 30, 2018

medical waiting room

When Natasha Crittenden Wilson from Florence, Alabama saw a random act of kindness play out in her doctor's office, she decided to snap a photo and share it on Facebook.

"I was in the waiting room at the doc office today and this lady walked in with her sleeping baby!" she wrote alongside the shot. "They handed her paperwork to do & as she was sitting there trying to figure out how to hold her sleeping baby while filling out the paperwork, this man, from across the room, asks her if she would like for him to hold her baby while she did her paperwork!! She smiled and said that would be wonderful!! This man went over there and rocked and loved on that baby like he was his!!"

Wilson was deeply touched by what she had witnessed. "My heart Melted!!!" she wrote. "Racism is still VERY real in our society today BUT THIS MAN GAVE ME HOPE & a sweet memory I'll never forget!! If you know this man tell him what an amazing person he is!!"

The touching photo quickly went viral, wracking up over half a million shares and 78K comments in just a matter of days. "Oh! What a beautiful heart," wrote a woman from Nigeria. "This is absolutely beautiful," one commenter from North Carolina wrote.

Wilson explained to Good Morning America that the gentleman "went over and picked up the sleeping baby and sat and hummed to him and rocked him until he was called back to his room. This was something I had never witnessed in my life. I have seven of my own children and people just don't normally offer help anymore to someone they don't know."

GMA reports that the woman in the photo was identified as Jade West and her little boy is Jayce Billings. The man who held him is Joe Hale.

"I felt relieved and appreciated at the fact that he wanted to help, he seemed really genuine," West told GMA. "He talked about how he never stops being a 'paw paw' and how he loved kids and just about my baby in general! He was literally just loving on him and talking to him as if he was his own grandchild and had known him his whole life. He was just the sweetest."

One of the main takeaways of the experience for Wilson was a desire for people to simply see and treat one another as fellow human beings, not a white man or a black mother.

She explained, "For a stranger, a white man at that, asking a young black mother if he could hold her baby to help her out, then the way he loved on that baby like it was his own, it almost puts me to tears every time I think about the love you could see radiate from him for that baby."

Of the public's reaction to her post, Wilson told Inside Edition: "It's all very surreal. It's very heartwarming to know that people all over the world want the same thing."

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