INSIDE EDITION - A California mother has turned her own devastating loss into a touching gift for other moms in need.
Ariel Matthews, 25, made it her mission to donate 18.5 gallons of breast milk after her newborn son passed away due to birth complications.
Matthews welcomed the beautiful baby boy, which she named Ronan, but he died just 11 days after his birth.
Matthews posted Ronan’s story on social media and made the heartbreaking revelation that she’s also had a miscarriage and a stillbirth within the past year.
She has now turned her personal turmoil into a kind offering.
Matthews told InsideEdition.com that her body was rapidly slowing down and she was unable to produce enough breast milk for her son and simultaneously didn’t have enough to donate – yet.
“Since Ronan passed, I decided to go for the 1,000 ounces, especially since my body was producing a lot more milk this time,” Matthews told InsideEdition.com. “I was able to donate the total amount in eight weeks.”
Her father, Eric Matthews, however, was the man behind a different plan. He gave her the idea to continue to pumping, enough to surpass her body weight.
Matthews ended up with 2,370 ounces and donated the breast milk personally to mothers who are also unable to produce milk themselves and mothers who have adopted foster children.
“Donating was a wonderful feeling; especially since it was all because of my sweet Ronan,” said Matthews. “I wanted to share his gift of milk; he’s the reason I was able to.”
The generous stay-at-home mom said the amount of love she’s received was overwhelming and she would someday try to donate milk again.
"I’ve gotten moms who have said my story has helped them,” said Matthews. “If my story could do something, that’s what I wanted.”