Her Message Honors Her Sister's Amazing Strength As She Pumps For Her Preemies While In The ICU

"I would just like to publicly recognize my sister."

As we near the end of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, a photo posted by Amanda Tilberg is circulating the Internet because it shows the incredible strength her sister, Melissa Churchill, has as she pumps while in the ICU. 

Tilberg shared the photo on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page to recognize her sister and explain her story. 


In the post from August 20, Tilberg writes that her sister delivered twins, Maverick and Manning, by emergency C-section on August 17 at 26 weeks. This was due to HELLP syndrome, a "life-threatening complication usually considered to be a variant of preeclampsia that occurs in the later stages or pregnancy or even childbirth," according to Preeclampsia.org. One baby was "extremely critical" and they were born only weighing 2 pounds., 8 ounces each.

Because of the complications, Churchill was placed in the ICU with a failing liver. Her sister says experts are considering a liver transplant due to her condition.

Despite this, Tilberg writes, "She is still committed to giving her boys the very best by pumping breast milk."

"I know it's not been easy for her with everything going on, but even when she physically struggles to pump, she still does [it] with the help of others," Tilberg explains. 

The photo of Churchill shows her pumping while assisted by her sister. Tilberg reveals that at the time, her sister was on four different IV meds as well as "many other orals." She was even refusing pain medication to try and make sure there were no concerns with her milk.  

Tilberg told Babble that Churchill's health appears to be improving. She is still weak because of the effects of HELLP, but has since been moved out of the ICU. Maverick's health, however, has declined further, and the baby has been taken off life support. Though the family still has hope. 

Meanwhile, Churchill is still committed to pumping to feed Manning.

"Pumping will mean even more now to her as she will want to do everything she can to ensure the other survives and thrives,” Tilberg said.

The family has started the Maverick and & Manning Facebook page to keep everyone updated on their condition and a GoFundMe page.

It's times like these that it's especially important to recognize the incredible strength of a mother. 

(H/T: Popsugar)


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