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World Praises Police Officer Who Breastfed Malnourished Baby

Photograph by Twenty20

People all over the world are loving the story of a police officer who went above and beyond the call of duty. When Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working guard duty at a children's hospital in Buenos Aires last week, she noticed that a neglected baby who'd been brought in was hungry.

The 6-month-old was described by hospital staff as being "smelly and dirty." He was the youngest of six boys, ages 9 and younger, taken in by social services. Ayala noticed that the medics and hospital staff at Sister Maria Ludovica Children's Hospital were overworked and couldn't immediately attend to them, so she asked if she could hold and breastfeed the baby.

One of the social workers agreed, and Ayala nursed and soothed the crying baby. According to Argentinian newspaper Cronica, Ayala is a mom to a 1-year-old and 4-month-old.

"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," she told Cronica.

Her story went viral after a co-worker, Marcos Heredia, posted an image on Facebook of Ayala breastfeeding the baby.

Photograph by Facebook

"I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that little baby, who without knowing him, you didn’t hesitate and for a moment you fulfilled as if you were his mother. You do not care about filth and smell," he wrote, loosely translated from Spanish. "Things like that don't happen every day."

Days later, Ayala was promoted by Buenos Aires' police chief Cristian Ritondo, who wrote on Twitter that he wanted to "thank her in person for the gesture of spontaneous love that managed to calm the baby's cry" and that she was an example of "the police that make us proud, the police we want."

The Bomberos Voluntarios Berisso fire brigade, where Ayala volunteers, also paid tribute.

"Actions like these fill us with pride and obligate us to redouble the effort, the work and the solidarity with our community," the brigade wrote.

Ayala did something many people wouldn't even consider and fed a hungry baby she didn't know. That connection and devotion to her community? It's what sheroes are made of.

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