Flight Attendant Rescues Breast Milk—And Keeps It on Ice

He treated it like the emergency it was.
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By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Published May 18, 2018
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Imagine spending all of your vacation carving out time to pump in order to keep up a supply. Now imagine forgetting all 100 ounces on a plane. That was the reality for Rachel Cohn Braverman, who returned from a trip to Disney with her three older children only to realize the “souvenir” for her infant was still sitting in a cooler under her United Airlines seat.

“Last week my husband and I took our 5-year old, 4-year old and 2-year old to Disney. Our 4-month-old baby Brent, was home with grandma, because we all know Disney at 4 months isn’t magical for anyone,” Braverman shares in a post for Love What Matters, adding she spent any free moment pumping. “When we left on Sunday morning, I delicately packed up my roughly 100 ounces of milk in the black travel lunch bag I brought for the occasion, stuffed it with ice and went on my way. I securely wedged the milk under the seat in front of me on the plane, careful not to tip over and make a giant mess. Unfortunately for me, we had an embarrassing number of carry-on bags, our three kids, and I left the milk in its safe little spot when I got off the plane.”

Braverman didn’t realize she’d forgotten the milk until she got home and went to put it in the fridge.

“I am generally on the stoic side, but between Disney exhaustion and the onset of intense frustration at myself, I started to cry,” she says. “My husband, at a loss seeing me in tears, told me it was not a big deal (even though we both knew it was!) and we moved on with what was supposed to be a happy Mother’s Day.”

Little did she know it was about to be the happiest Mother’s Day yet. Later that evening, her husband received a text: a United flight attendant had found the breast milk.

“Shocked, I read the first, of now many, texts from Jeff Nowotny, a United flight attendant who came on board our aircraft after we deplaned. I got on the phone with Jeff and found out that the impossible was possible. He had rescued my milk!” Braverman says. “‘Don’t worry! I have been keeping it on ice all afternoon!’ [he said.] I could not believe my ears. Not only had he found it, but as he spoke for a minute straight, I was overwhelmed to hear how much he cared about its worth. I was a perfect stranger. Not even a passenger he had met on board.”

It gets better. He said he would be landing in the area shortly, and because it was so late, offered to drop the milk off at her house.

“I was flabbergasted. I still am,” she says. “I left him a little gift outside my front door with a note thanking him and told him I wanted his last name so I could make sure United knew the above and beyond service he was providing. Being the person he is, when he dropped the bag, he left ME a thank you note! And told me where I could leave feedback for United but reminding me that it really was not necessary and that he was just happy to help.”

While the pair still has yet to meet, they consider themselves friends. In fact, they’ve made it Facebook official.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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