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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
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