One Father's Day Wish - The Gift of Donor Breast Milk

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Baby Isabella comes home. On this Father's Day, one father is grateful for the most extraordinary gift - donated breast milk.

Jerry Sciulli's world was nothing but perfect less than 6 months ago. He and his loving wife, Kim, were expecting their first baby and were elated with the anticipation of becoming parents. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

On January 9th 2008, Baby Isabella came into their world 3 months early and weighed only 1 pound and 4 and 2/3 ounces. Jerry and Kim dealt with the unexpected birth of Isabella as best they could. When doctors told them that because Isabella was so weak, breast milk would increase her chance of survival, Kim started to pump immediately. Kim would try to pump at least 8 times a day and called her breast milk 'liquid gold.' As Isabella started to grow in her first couple of days of life both Jerry and Kim were thrilled.

Then the unimaginable happened. Kim collapsed and died from a rare, unexpected heart problem called postpartum cardiomyopathy.

Days later, Kim's stored breast milk was dwindling while Baby Isabella remained in intensive care. Jerry knew that formula was not an option and would not have been what Kim had wanted. He set out to find donated breast milk for his premature daughter.

His best friend helped him contact International Breast Milk Project, an organization that provided donated breast milk from US mothers to infants affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. This organization was able to help Jerry find donor breast milk for baby Isabella.

So this year for Jerry's first father's day, Isabella has been allowed to come home. She has been thriving on donor breast milk from moms across the US. Jerry hopes that this donated "liquid gold" continues to help his daughter grow up strong and healthy, just like her mother would have wanted.

For more information contact, Jill Youse, Executive Director, International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), 507-288-1885 or jillyouse@yahoo.com and/or visit IBMP's website at http://www.breastmilkproject.com

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Frederique Daniel
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