Demi Frandsen is honoring her infant son’s memory by donating her breast milk to the Omaha Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. She has become the Hospital’s largest breast milk donor, having given 131 gallons of milk to families, PJ Media reported.
Her son’s name was Leo. Demi Frandsen told WOWT News about his rare condition, “Leo was born 2 months early and he was diagnosed with gastroschisis. There was no skin to pull over his exposed organs. It was kind of a new case they had not seen before.”
Leo spent his 10 months of life in the NICU at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Although he couldn’t go home, Leo’s family spent every moment they could with him.
Leo couldn’t handle very much of his mother’s milk, however Frandsen still woke up over 3 hours to pump the milk. She donated all the additional milk to the Children’s Hospital.
“My final donation was 17,503 ounces…which is 131 gallons. So, a dairy aisle, basically,” Frandsen said.
While her son was in the hospital, Frandsen worked with Tammi Martin, a Lactation Consultant with Children’s. Martin told WOWT, “With all that was going on in her life she found it in her heart to give to other babies.”
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Fandsen’s milk was sterilized and pasteurized before being sent to the Denver Milk Bank. Much of the milk will likely return to the Children’s Hospital.
Martin went on to describe how beneficial this breast milk will be for infants in NICU, “For our babies that are very small, for our sickest, tiniest babies whose mothers can’t provide the milk they need. We talk about all the good, positive qualities of breast milk that formula doesn’t have and our smallest babies need those antibodies, those protective factors and growth factors.”
Frandsen continued to pump and donate her milk to help children like her son. Little Leo passed away October 22. His story is a beautiful reminder of how precious each life is.
Frandsen said, “He was worth it. He was worth all of this. His life in 10 months was the best 10 months of mine.”
She went on, “We miss our Leo, and it’s not even day to day—it’s moment to moment.”