May 17, 2008

I hope you're wearing waterproof mascara.This story broke my heart.

From The Electric New Paper, Singapore

The earthquake in China unleashed one of the most powerful forces on earth - love.

Whether it is a mother saving her child, a female cop breastfeeding lost infants or celebrities moved to act, it was there like a comforting blanket amid the pain, grief and heartbreak.

Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of these acts of love is the last desperate act of a dying mother, trapped in the rubble, trying to save her 3-month-old baby.

Knowing the end was near, she nestled her baby to her breast, so that the baby could survive after she was gone.

Dr Gong Pu, a 30-year-old gynaecologist told that rescuers were searching through rubble along a river in Chengdu when they came across a young woman cradling a baby in her bosom.

The mother had lifted up her shirt to breastfeed the baby. By the time they were found, the mother had already stopped breathing.


Said Dr Gong: 'We carried the baby carefully from the mum's arms. The baby started crying after its mouth left the mum's breast.

'It left tears in our eyes.

'From the way she was carrying the baby, we could see that the mum was doing all she can to protect her child.

A mother's instinct to protect even extended to strangers.

In Jiangyou county, policeman Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, was seen breastfeeding a rescued infant.

Mrs Jiang is still lactating as she gave birth six months ago.

However, when she heard about the quake, she left her baby in the care of her parents.

And when she saw hungry infants crying at the rescue centre, her motherly instincts took over.

She is nursing the children of three women who were left homeless by the quake and were too traumatized to give milk, as well as five orphans.

The orphans had been placed in an orphanage which does not have powdered milk.

Mrs Jiang's selfless act prompted netizens to sing praises of her on various online forums.

Some even posted MTV-style videos of her, using just that breastfeeding picture on, the Chinese equivalent of YouTube.

Nine-day-old baby He Jiahui receiving first aid in Dujiangyan. She and her mother were found trapped under a collapsed house. Said one netizen, called The Mollusc in Dayun River: 'To the most respected policewoman, I offer you the greatest salute.'

Another named Dearest Mum said: 'You have taught us what is the meaning of a mother's love.'

That's the power of compassion and it has spread.