Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala maternal instincts kicked in when she tended to a starving baby while on duty at a hospital. The baby came from a family of drug addicts.
A female police officer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has won national recognition and worldwide fame after she breastfed a malnourished baby while on duty. Her act of kindness was posted by her colleague Marcos Heredia on Facebook and has since been shared thousands of times with words of encouragement and applause coming her way from all over the world.
Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working overtime along with her partner Marcos Heredia when they were called to the Children’s Hospital of La Plata in the city of Berisso. The two were called in for an emergency because a family had been brought to the hospital by social workers. The situation was sad since the family consisted of six children, the youngest one being a baby and the eldest was around nine-years-old. The parents were both drug addicts and it appeared as if the children had been abandoned according to a report in Goalcast. The parents were incapable of taking care of their children who were dirty and extremely malnourished at the time when they were attended by the hospital staff.
The family was also living in extremely bad conditions as the parents were unemployed themselves. Once the officers reached there, Ayla who herself was a mother, was immediately heartbroken to see the condition of the children. She also noticed that the youngest of the children, a six-month-old, was wailing relentlessly. It was almost a natural instinct for her to breastfeed the baby since she could not bear to see the condition that he was in.
She took a chair outside the hospital and fed the baby. However, without waiting for anyone to respond to the children, Ayala got straight to work like a dutiful officer. Ayla said that she felt a very strong maternal instinct since she herself had just given birth and was looking after an eighteen-month-old baby of her own. She asked the person in charge at the hospital if she could be allowed to take the baby and breastfeed it.
Once it was approved, she was more than happy to tend to and feed the baby. Ayla said, "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 further added, "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. When the children arrived at the hospital, and we saw their situation, we could not stop crying. The kids would cry and we would cry… later the children calmed down."
The two officers also tried to ease the situation for the children by playing with them. This calmed the children a great deal and led to their treatment becoming a smoother affair. In his message on Facebook, Heredia praised his partner for her compassion and quick thinking. He wrote, "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 heartfelt post resonated with many and has since been shared over 160,000 times.
In addition to this, Officer Ayla was also promoted to the level of sergeant for her actions reports The Guardian. It was announced by Cristian Ritondo, the minister of security of Buenos Aires province, who tweeted, "We wanted to thank you in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry. That’s the type of 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
Many other individuals, organizations and institutions have come forward to praise Ayla for her act of kindness. The local fire department, for which Ayala volunteers, also praised her on Facebook writing, "Actions like that of this cadet fill us with pride and force us to redouble our efforts, work and solidarity with our community," reports Goalcast. She also earned her numerous tributes from organizations in Argentina and abroad.
Coincidentally the incident also took place on the National Day of the Female Officer in Argentina. Hats off to the caring officer and her partner who have become role models for all police officers in not only in Argentina but also the world all over.