Argentine police officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working her shift at Sor Maria Ludovica Hospital in Buenos Aires when she heard a baby crying and asked a staffer if she could see the baby to try to comfort him. When she held the baby, she realized that he was so discontent because he was malnourished and starving. Having recently given birth herself, Ayala sat with the baby and allowed him to breastfeed from her to help him calm down and get the nutrients that he needed. She continued to cradle and breastfeed the baby until he was satisfied and stopped crying, according to Fox News Cleveland.
The department where Ayala works paid tribute to her by uploading on Facebook a photo of her taking care of the baby. They hailed her as a hero for going above and beyond what is required of her professionally, and literally giving of herself to help another human live. Within days, Ayala was promoted from patrolman to sergeant, in recognition of her professionalism and display of “spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry.” Marcos Heredia, who posted the photo of Ayala, had kind words for his fellow officer.
“Things like that are not seen every day. I want to make public this great gesture of love that you made today with that baby, who you did not know, but for who you did not hesitate to act like a mother. Actions like that of this cadet fill us with pride and force us to redouble our efforts, work and solidarity with our community.”
Celeste was reported by Yahoo! as saying that when she held the baby, she noticed that he was hungry because he kept putting his hand to his mouth. She knew the hospital staff was too busy at that moment to be able to help the baby, which had just been admitted, so she said she tried to help in the one way she knew she could.
“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.”
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
The only information available on the baby is that his mother was admitted for treatment at the same time, and he was smelly and dirty upon arrival. It has been reported that several news agencies have reached out to the hospital inquiring as to the condition of the baby, but they could not disclose his status in accordance with confidentiality protocols.