Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 11 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Laconi
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Teacher takes in newborn baby who’s family is fighting COVID-19

Luciana Lira

Joy Colon | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/15/20

Luciana Lira had no qualms about looking after little Neysel, who arrived five weeks early.

There are many stories that show how teachers often go way beyond their classroom duties. Just recently there was the teacher who walked miles to deliver lunches to kids in lockdown, as well as a teacher who went to his student’s house to teach math from outside her window. So many teachers are truly devoted to making children’s lives better, so it’s perhaps not surprising to hear about what one elementary school teacher, Luciana Lira, did when she recently received a call from a student’s mom asking for help.

The mom, Zully, had just given birth prematurely to her baby at the beginning of April and was seriously ill with COVID-19; necessitating a ventilator and weeks of hospital care. Zully’s husband and her 7-year-old son had also contracted the disease. So when little baby Neysel was due to leave the hospital on April 8, there was no one to look after him.

Zully’s husband Marvin asked Lira if she’d care for their newborn son while Zully remained in hospital and the family recovered. Lira, who teaches English as a second language to the older son at Hart Magnet Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut, and had been helping the family through recent issues, offered her help straight away. She took temporary custody of the baby and brought him back to her home.

Lira’s friend, Joy Colon, shared the wonderful story on Facebook, stating: “… this unselfish act reminds us that our humanity makes us all essential … to each other. How will each of us respond when we are asked to simply show up and help?” (It’s worth reading the whole post below to see the lengths to which Lira went to in order to help the family.)

While Lira’s selfless act is truly wonderful — taking care of somebody else’s premature newborn takes some courage — the fact that Zully felt able to call the teacher speaks volumes about the compassionate person Lira must be. “We care about our students we care about their families and everybody needs to know we’re here for them and just want to help,” Lira explained to ABC7.

As Zully continues to recover, baby Neysel is thriving due to the loving care of Lira, who continues to teach her students online while also helping other members of her community who rely on her language skills. She has set up a GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly $50,000 to help the family in need.


Read more:
Pope offers Mass for teachers and students


Read more:
8 Ways to share the joy of a newborn with loved ones while in lockdown

CoronavirusInspiring stories
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.