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Mariely Chacón died after drinking her own urine so she could breastfeed her children, according to reports. Photo / Facebook
Two children have been rescued after they were found clinging to their dead mother – who saved their lives by drinking her own urine so she could breastfeed them after they drifted out to sea.
Mariely Chacón was on board the boat Thor on September 3 with her 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, her husband and nanny, for a pleasure cruise in the Caribbean when disaster struck.
During a trip to the uninhabited Tortuga Island a wave hit the boat and broke its hull apart.
The group were then split and spent four days adrift on a lifeboat in the hot sun, the New York Post reported.
According to the report, the Venezuelan mother decided the only way to keep her children alive was to drink her own urine, which allowed her to breastfeed them during their four-day ordeal.
After four days, rescuers finally discovered the survivors, including the children, and nanny.
The nanny was found hunkering down in an empty icebox to escape the high temperatures.
Rescuers found the children clinging to their mum’s body.
They were treated for dehydration and first-degree burns.
The other five people on board the vessel, including the father, have not been found according to Newsweek.
Chacón suffered organ failure due to electrolyte depletion caused by dehydration, which was possibly accelerated by her breastfeeding, a forensic medicine source told La República, according to the magazine.
“The mother who died kept her children alive by breastfeeding them and drinking her own urine,” a Venezuela’s National Maritime Authority INEA spokesman said.
“She died three or four hours before the rescue from dehydration after drinking no water for three days.”
Chacón ‘s funeral was streamed on YouTube.
Thousands paid tribute to her heroic act that ultimately saved her two children.
“The Virgin of Coromoto is watching Mariely Chacón Marroquin in Caracas. Rest in peace,” journalist Laura Castellanos tweeted in Spanish, Newsweek reported.
Another user wrote: “I did not have the privilege of meeting you. Your last days of life speak a lot about what was in your beautiful heart, you are a being of light in eternity.”