Local Nursing Mom Has Women Donate Breast Milk To Baby Of Fallen Officer

After a four-month-old baby was left without a mother, nursing moms rushed to help by donating their breast milk. The baby was breastfed by her mother, a Palm Springs police officer who was killed in the line of duty. Coolers of milk quickly began to fill up at the family home.

Two police officers were responding to a call about a domestic disturbance at a California home. Santos Felix told a neighbor that his son, 26-year-old John Felix, was 'acting crazy' and was armed.

The father even told the neighbor that his son planned to shoot the officers when they got there after the neighbor called 911.

The officers arrived and tried talking to John Felix through a screen door. Without the officers realizing it, John Felix opened fire on the officers and took them both by surprise. Back-up arrived and there was a lengthy stand-off with police before Felix finally gave up.

In the firefight, Felix killed 63-year-old Jose “Gil” Gilbert Vega and 27-year-old Officer Lesley Zerebny. He also wounded another officer who was taken to the hospital and released later that evening.

Vega was a veteran officer with 35 years on the police force. Zerebny had been an officer for 18 months, and was the new mother of Cora, her 4-month-old baby girl.

Felix, a convicted felon, was not supposed to have a firearm. He is facing charges for the shooting, but in the meantime, Cora is left without a mother.

One small solace that women thought they could offer the baby was their breastmilk.

When news of the death of the young mother and officer made headlines, a lot of mothers were touched by the tragedy. A family member had asked for prayers on social media after the incident happened.

When a local woman heard about Zerebny's baby, she asked if breast milk donations would help. When the family said it would, the woman organized a collection effort.

They could do something to honor Zerebny and help her baby: they could donate their breastmilk so that Cora could continue benefitting from it. By nightfall, more than 500 ounces of breast milk had been donated from local breastfeeding mothers.

That's enough milk for a month of feedings for the newborn.

The donated breast milk needs to be screened and tested, so the family is also supplementing formula and accepting formula donations. All the donations, be it breastmilk or formula, are being graciously accepted as gifts from the heart and are much appreciated.

In addition to the milk and formula donations, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the families of the fallen officers to help with funeral costs.

One officer who is also an artist is also raising money for memorial statues to honor the two officers 'to commemorate their lives and sacrifices'. He's working on sculpting the likeness of the officers in Bronze. Any unused funds will be given to the families of the slain officers.

Source: KTVU, CBS News
Photos: KTVU, Zack Zerebny/Facebook, Policevoicecom/Twitter, KESQ

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