BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – An Argentine police officer is being hailed a hero after breastfeeding a malnourished baby while on duty at a children’s hospital.
Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working her shift at Sor Maria Ludovica Hospital in Buenos Aires when she heard a baby crying incessantly. Ayala, who is the mother of a newborn baby, asked hospital staff if she could hold and comfort the crying baby.
After receiving permission, Ayala cradled and breastfed the baby until he stopped crying.
“Things like that are not seen every day,” said Marcos Heredia, who posted the viral image on Facebook. “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.”
The fire department Ayala volunteers for took to Facebook to pay tribute to the kind gesture, sharing the photo that touched thousands of people.
“Actions like that of this cadet fill us with pride and force us to redouble our efforts, work and solidarity with our community,” the department wrote.
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
Days after the photo went viral, Cristian Ritondo, Vice President of the legislature of Buenos Aires, met with Ayala and promoted her from officer to sergeant.
Ritondo took to Twitter to publicly thank Ayala, writing: “We wanted to thank you in person for that gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby’s cry.”
CNN en Español tried to contact the hospital to get more information about the state of the baby, but did not get an answer.