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You have probably heard plenty of stories of airline or TSA employees going rogue and not following policies designed to protect nursing moms as they fly with or without their babies. Stories of wasted milk, harassed or embarrassed mothers, and unnecessary heartache. I know I have written plenty of those stories as it is simply infuriating and inexplicable that in 2018 some basics of nursing and pumping are still not always understood in an industry where this is a pretty regular occurrence. But today, this story of a mom flying with her pumped milk is unlike some of the others. This one is called a ‘Mother’s Day (Milk) Miracle’.
Mom of four, Rachel Braverman, was flying back home to her four-month-old baby with a cooler full of 100 ounces of pumped milk when she accidentally left the cooler and its contents of pumped milk under the seat of the plane. By the time she realized it was missing, she assumed it was gone for good and started crying. I would do the very same. Much of the time she might be right that the milk is gone for good in this sort of situation, but not this time.
This time someone on the next flight noticed the cooler and alerted the flight attendant. Luckily for the family who left the cooler, the ‘right’ flight attendant was now involved. Knowing how valuable pumped milk is for families, he looked up the passenger’s information and made it his personal mission to reunite the mom with her cooler.
A few hours after they returned home to New Jersey, Rachel’s husband got a text from a United flight attendant, Jeff Nowotny, saying that he had the milk. Not only did he have it, but he had kept it on ice through his shift of several flights back and forth from Newark and Orlando. As if that wasn’t enough, in the middle of the night, the flight attendant they had never met, hand-delivered the milk-filled cooler to their porch in New Jersey. He left it safely surrounded by bags of ice. That isn’t just doing a good job, that is being an amazing person.
I very much hope to be on one of Jeff’s future flights, so I can hopefully recognize him and thank him for being amazing. If we all did even a fraction of what Jeff did to help make someone’s life a little easier, travel could be an entirely different experience. Here’s to hoping that Jeff’s kindness serves as an inspiration for others – I know he has inspired me!
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