Elisabeth Devey, a British mother of two, is a big believer in doing what should be done. Which is why she has decided to devote the past two years to helping families in need.
After choosing to be a surrogate and giving birth to twins last September, she wanted to help babies in a bigger way. Being the determined and passionate woman she is, Devey set an ambitious goal: donate 100 liters (or about 26 gallons) of breast milk in three month to Northwest Human Milk Bank. And she did it!
Devey provides infant feeding support to new moms at a local postnatal ward, so she often sees babies born premature and in need of donor milk. And after her surrogacy, she was in an incredible position to give back.
She started by donating breast milk to her surrogate family for the first three months, then she helped three other babies through the organization Human Milk 4 Human Babies. But she didn’t stop there! Since Devey was producing up to two liters of milk a day, she decided to spend three more months expressing 100 liters in total to give to Northwest Human Milk Bank. With the help of a GoFundMe page she created for her efforts, Devey successfully finished her “100 Liter Challenge” last weekend, and she couldn’t feel happier.
“I just thought, if I could help as much as physically possible, it’s a good thing,” she tells Babble.
At one point, she was able to donate 42 liters of milk in a single drop off, which is a freezer worth of milk! When she called to let the bank know she’d be donating that much milk, Devey could sense great surprise from the bank employee. “You could actually hear her falling off her chair and shouting ‘42 liters! 42 liters!’” she jokingly tells Babble.
It was important to Devey that her two sons, who are 4 and 5 years old, see the entire experience as a natural part of her giving back after surrogacy. And they’ve been very supportive of her decision to help babies in need. “They’re just used to it all,” she says.
And after pumping for so long, it would only make sense that she would feel more and more relaxed with her locale. “I’ve expressed at a football stadium, on a train, in a meeting, I’ve kind of expressed anywhere! I just fit it into my life,” she shares with Babble.
Emma Savage, support manager at the Northwest Human Milk Bank, gives Devey a well-deserved “thanks.”
“On behalf of all of us at the milk bank I want to say a huge thank you to Elisabeth for her outstanding commitment to donating,” she tells Lancashire Telegraph. “Her milk will have helped many babies in the 50 hospitals throughout England and Wales.”
Devey hopes to empower women to also donor milk and to keep up their efforts with breastfeeding — however and whenever they are able. “Even one feed a day is well worth it. Do what’s right for you,” she says.
But, of course, this inspiring woman has even more charitable efforts in the works! After losing her best friend Natalie to brain cancer, she’s partnering with HeadSmart and The Brain Tumour Charity. Her goal is to hand out one million “HeadSmart” cards, which raise awareness about brain tumor signs and symptoms. She’s also asking one million people to donate 10 pence each to The Brain Tumour Charity. It’s a chance to honor Natalie and help others get diagnosed early.
Elisabeth Devey is a hero for UK families, and her actions are nothing short of amazing!
h/t: Lancashire Telegraph