A police officer in Argentina is being called “beautiful” for breastfeeding a malnourished baby while working at a children’s hospital.
A photo of officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala nursing the distressed infant while on duty at the Sister Maria Ludovica Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires on Aug. 14 caught fire on Facebook, racking up 110,000 shares after it was posted by witness Marcos Heredia.
“I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that little baby,” read Heredia’s post, loosely translated from Spanish. “Who without knowing you didn’t hesitate and for a moment you fulfilled how if you were her mother. You don’t care about filth and smell … things like that don’t [happen] every day.”
Quiero hacer público este gran gesto de amor que tuviste hoy con ese bebito, que sin conocerlo no dudaste y por un…
Ayala’s name also became a Twitter hashtag as social media users commended her selfless act.
WOW, now that’s a bad ass police officer that went up and beyond the call of duty. 👏👏 #CelesteAyala
— Sergio Detroit (@Meanbean888) August 18, 2018
To all the breastfeeding in public naysayers, check out the kindness of this police officer. Celeste Ayala saw that hospital staff were too busy to treat this neglected baby so she whipped out a breast and did it herself. #breastfeeding #CelesteAyala #RandomActsOfKindness pic.twitter.com/LfcE6Qyo2U
— Delphie Gray (@delphiegray1) August 19, 2018
According to the Daily Mirror, the baby is the youngest of six children belonging to a struggling single mother.
— julie anne⚘ (@stoneyrocks) August 19, 2018
— Mehmet AKGÜL (@makgul_55) August 19, 2018
Bomberos Voluntarios Berisso, the fire department with which Ayala volunteers, posted about the story on Facebook.
“Actions like that of this cadet fill us with pride and force us to redouble our efforts, work, and solidarity with our community.”
FELICITAMOS A NUESTRO CADETE A BOMBERO.Queremos felicitar al cadete a bombero voluntario Celeste Ayala que en el dia…
For her kindhearted actions, Ayala received a promotion from officer to sergeant. Cristian Ritondo, vice president of the legislature of Buenos Aires tweeted the news, writing, (loosely translated on Twitter) “Today we received Celeste, the officer who nursed a baby at the children’s hospital #LaPlata to notify her of her promotion. … The police we’re proud of, the police we want.”
Hoy recibimos a Celeste, la oficial que amamantó a un bebé en el Hospital de Niños de #LaPlata para notificarle su ascenso. Queríamos agradecerle en persona ese gesto de amor espontáneo que logró calmar el llanto del bebé. La policía que nos enorgullece, la policía que queremos. pic.twitter.com/8aBp0Xj4Zj
— Cristian Ritondo (@cristianritondo) August 17, 2018
Ayala said her maternal instinct simply kicked in when she sat with the infant. “I noticed that he was hungry, as he was putting his hand into his mouth, so I asked to hug him and breastfeed him,” she reportedly said, according to several media outlets. “It was a sad moment, it broke my soul seeing him like this, society should be sensitive to the issues affecting children, it cannot keep happening.”
Ayala isn’t the only police officer to go above and beyond on the job. In May, a female police officer and new mother in Colombia was involved in an equally loving act of compassion. Officer Luisa Fernanda Urrea found an abandoned baby in the woods, with part of its umbilical cord still attached, and swaddled and breastfed the infant. “I think any woman would have given her nourishment in the same circumstances,” Urrea reportedly told local media.
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