Photograph by The Children's Hospital of San Antonio
A Texas mom is making national headlines for turning a rocky situation into gold—or more specifically, liquid gold.
When Mikah Duncan's son Cash was born three months premature in January, the first-time mom felt helpless. She couldn't hold him because of his fragile state and could only watch as her baby relied on a ventilator in the beginning.
"I couldn't touch him, I couldn't hold him," Duncan told ABC News. "So I decided I was going to pump my heart out. It was all I could do."
At first, she was only able to get a syringe's worth of breast milk from pumping. Duncan also signed a consent form allowing Cash to receive donor milk if needed. But with the encouragement of the hospital nurses and at some point, the help of a hospital-grade breast pump, she kept pumping every two hours. Soon she not only had enough breast milk to store at home for baby Cash, but also to donate to the hospital.
The hospital minimum for donation is 100 ounces. What Duncan gave? 15.5 gallons.
A spokesperson for the Children's Hospital of San Antonio said it was the largest single donation the hospital has ever collected. (Last we heard, the Guinness record for breast milk donation goes to an Illinois mom for donating 16,321 fluid ounces, or about 127.5 gallons).
"It feels amazing," Duncan told ABC. "Just to help in some small way." Her breast milk donated to the hospital's NICU was later donated to the Mother's Milk Bank in Austin.