Emotional Photo of a Police Officer Breastfeeding a Neglected Baby Is Going Viral
Celeste Ayala was working guard duty at a children's hospital when the baby was brought in by a struggling single mom. Ayala told local media it broke her soul, and "society should be sensitive to the issues affecting children."
A police officer from Argentina is making global headlines this week after trusting her instincts to care for a malnourished infant. Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working guard duty at the Sor Maria Ludovica children’s hospital in Buenos Aires when a neglected baby boy was brought in by a struggling single mother, according to the U.K.'s The Mirror. The L.O., described by hospital staff as "smelly and dirty," was inconsolable... until Ayala asked staffers if she could hold and feed him, since they were overwhelmed at the time.
She explained to local media outlet Cronica: "I noticed that he was hungry, as he was putting his hand into his mouth, so I asked to hug him and breastfeed him. 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."
CNN reports that Ayala had recently become a mother herself, and in turn, she was able to breastfeed the baby boy.
In that moment, an onlooker named Marcos Heredia took a photo of Ayala and the baby, later posting to Facebook with the caption (originally written in Spanish and translated by FOX News): "I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that little baby. 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."
The photo has understandably gone viral, wracking up more than 112K shares and 157K reactions. #CelesteAyala also became a trending hashtag on Twitter, with users of the social media site praising the officer for her compassionate action.
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The Mirror reports that the fire brigade where Ayala volunteers took to social media to pay tribute to her: "We want to congratulate the voluntary firefighting cadet Celeste Ayala who yesterday in her job as police officer whilst she was on guard duty at the hospital, breastfed a young child who arrived crying. "Actions like these fill us with pride and obligate us to redouble the effort, the work and the solidarity with our community."
Since her selfless act, Ayala been promoted from officer to sergeant, according to CNN. "We wanted to thank (Ayala) in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby's cry," Cristian Ritondo, the minister of security of the Buenos Aires province, tweeted. "An officer we're proud of. An officer we want."
Major props to this big-hearted hero. Her selfless move is truly an inspiration.
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This article originally appeared on Parents.com