Mothers donate breast milk to the infant of a police officer who died in the line of duty
Two police officers tragically lost their lives in the line of duty last week. In the wake of this horrible story comes an uplifting one about moms coming together to help one of their own in a way that only mothers could.
According to People, officer Lesley Zerebny and her partner Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega were shot and killed a week ago after responding to a “family disturbance.” Zerebny, 27, had recently returned to work after maternity leave when the domestic call came in. Vega was only months from retirement. And Zerebny’s daughter Cora is only four months old.
The baby was breastfed and upon hearing the news of Zerebny’s death, mothers decided to help by donating over 500 ounces of breast milk for the infant.
“In this family….no-one fights alone”
It is amazing what people do when they find out there is a need and find out…
KTVU newscaster Claudine Wong took to Facebook to share a photo a friend sent of the bags upon bags of milk moms had donated to little Cora. Along with photos of the packed cooler, she wrote, “”In this family….no-one fights alone.” It is amazing what people do when they find out there is a need and find out that they can help.”
After seeing a call for prayers on social media from one of Zerebny’s family members, a local woman named Ashley asked if donated breast milk would be appreciated. That was all it took for word to spread and the 500 ounces to be delivered to the family in only 24 hours. In Wong’s post, she mentions that formula donations are also welcome noting, “But this is not about breast milk or formula, it’s about the human heart and about the desire and the capacity of people to give.”
The milk will be screened and tested before going to Cora, but the amount collected should feed her for over a month. If the infant were exclusively breastfed, this is an amazing gift during an unbelievably difficult time. Transitioning a baby from breast milk to formula should be done gradually, and now, the family has several weeks to do that.
It might seem like a small thing, but the donation is both helpful and symbolic. It’s said when you become a mother, every child is your child. When a mom sees another woman’s baby in need of anything, the first instinct is to help and protect. And that’s exactly what these incredible moms did to honor Zerebny when she was no longer able to care for her baby. She died a hero, and these women stepped in to do whatever they could to soften the blow for her child.
Because that’s what moms do.