Every day, regular people morph into unexpected heroes. But there are some feats of heroism that only a mom can do. Palm Springs officer Lesley Zerebny was killed in the line of duty just days after returning from maternity leave in October.
Her partner Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega was also shot and killed after responding to a “family disturbance.” Vega was only months from retirement. And Lesley’s daughter Cora is only four months old.
The shooter had a history of violence and was arrested after a 12-hour standoff with police. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other crimes and could face the death penalty.
Lesley left behind her husband, Zachary, and a 4-month-old daughter. But what happened next was wonderful…
After a family member posted on social media to ask for prayers following the loss. New mothers in the Monterey area immediately responded to support the infant by donating their own breast milk to the grieving family, more than 500 ounces of breast milk were donated.
The breast milk was raised in just 24 hours, and it’s estimated to be enough to last Cora for a month. “It will be screened and tested before it can be used,” she wrote. The Palm Springs Police Officers Association was, at the time, also accepting donations for formula, which Lesley had been supplementing her nursing with.
The milk will be screened and tested before going to Cora, and if the infant were exclusively breastfed, this is an amazing gift during an unbelievably difficult time. Transitioning a baby from breast milk to formula should be done gradually, and now, the family has several weeks to do that.
It might seem like a small thing, but the donation is both helpful and symbolic. It’s said when you become a mother, every child is your child.
When a mom sees another woman’s baby in need of anything, her first instinct is to help and protect. And that’s exactly what these incredible moms did to honor Lesley when she was no longer able to care for her baby. She died a hero, and these women stepped in to do whatever they could to soften the blow for her child.
Because that’s what moms do.
Watch the video below for more details: