Losing a spouse is heartbreaking enough, but losing your partner just when you’re welcoming your child into the world is practically unimaginable.
This is exactly what Anton Ramos went through when he lost his wife, Cel, after she gave birth to their second child in March 2016. Her final instructions were to make sure that their baby would be breastfed no matter what.
“Nung nagkaron kami ng first baby, madalas nasa hospital dahil sa asthma,” Anton recounted to Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho in an interview. “Every time pupunta kami sa hospital laging tinatanong sa ‘min ‘nag-breastfeed po ba yung baby?'”
After repeatedly being asked this at their hospital, she began researching about breastfeeding and breastmilk when she got pregnant again. She found that breastfeeding has been known to lower the risk of infant complications and even, Asthma.
“So, sabi niya dapat ata mag-breastfeed ako,” shared Anton, recalling the time when they were about to have their second baby. He agreed, saying it would also allow them to save.
She was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer in 2009. For six years, she recovered, taking time to plan and prepare for her second pregnancy.
Though she had a mastectomy, leaving her with only her right breast, she was determined to breastfeed.
Though she had a mastectomy, leaving her with only her right breast, she was determined to breastfeed. “Very strong yung wife ko,” shared Anton, recalling the time when she was fighting back tears post-mastectomy, still determined to nurse her youngest son who was still in the womb.
She managed to give birth to their youngest son, Dos, on March 2016. Sadly, a few hours after giving birth, she went into a fatal cardiac arrest.
Next page: Find out how Anton’s keeping his promises to his late wife
The devoted dad, who also has a full-time job, makes sure to care for his sons Vito, 10 and Dos, 6 months before leaving for work.
Knowing that his wife’s dying wish was that their child be breastfed, he got in touch with one of his friends, who’s a counselor for Breastfeeding Pinays. It was from this friend where he got a list of possible breast milk donors through a milk hub with high international standards of screening.
“They never ask for anything in return,” he said, commending the generous moms.
As a way to thank the kind-hearted moms who is helping Anton keep his promise to his late wife, he makes them homemade bagnet and longganisa in exchange for the bags of breast milk. He also gives them replacement bags.
He manages to collect about 25 bags of breast milk per week, which is about 250 ounces of milk. He says this is more than enough to cover his baby’s feeding needs for an entire week.
He picks up the bags of milk in his tiny coolers during his lunch break, asking permission from his boss so he could leave the office.
“He’s one of a kind,” Diana Garcia, one of the breastmilk donors who are helping nurse baby Dos, told KMJS.
The pain of losing someone you love isn’t something he’d wish on anyone.
“Yun yung time na imbes na magsaya kayo kasi may pinanganak, may mamamatay naman,” Anton said, in tears. “Yung matindi pa dyan, yung bata, for the rest of his life, ‘pag mag-bi-birthday yan, maalala niya yung nanay niya.”
Despite losing the mother of his kids, he’s happy to see his youngest son healthy.
“Nakaka-miss yung lambing niya,” he confided, recalling how sweet his late wife was. “Pag meron kang gustong gawin, very supportive yan. She always looked forward to the milestones sa buhay namin.”
Learn more about Anton by watching the full feature on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.
READ: Mom donates 92 gallons of breastmilk to honor her stillborn son
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