A school teacher from Connecticut is being praised after she took on the care of a newborn baby brother of one of her students after the family tested coronavirus positive.
Luciana Lira, 32, teaches at Hart Magnet Elementary in Stamford, where a seven-year-old Guatemalan asylum seeker named Junior is also studying.
She received a call on April 4, from Junior’s mother, Zully, who told her that she had tested positive to COVID-19 and was going into labor. She also informed her that they had no one else in the US to help them out, and had listed her as their emergency contact.
Luciana quickly called Zully’s husband, Marvin, who told her that he and Junior too had the coronavirus conditions and were awaiting test results. He was afraid that he might infect his newborn and asked her to take care of the baby till they received their test results.
Luciana selflessly said yes to the spur of the moment question.
Doctors performed an emergency C-section on Zully, and delivered a baby boy named Neysel. But while the newborn was healthy, Zully was ill with the coronavirus and was quickly placed onto a ventilator.
Luciana, meanwhile, became a temporary guardian and took baby Neysel home to her husband, Alex.
Less than a week later, test results returned showing that Marvin and young Junior had both tested positive for COVID-19, meaning that Luciana would be tasked with caring for baby Neysel longer than anticipated.
However, the selfless teacher stepped up to be an instant mom while continuing to teach her elementary school students remotely.
On April 18, Zully was taken off the ventilator after her condition improved and two days later, she was finally able to be introduced to her newborn baby boy via a Zoom video call. Heartwarming snaps show Luciana holding up Neysel as he appears to wave at his mom who is on the screen.
Zully was seen smiling back as she sat staring at her phone from her hospital bed. On April 24, Zully was released from the hospital and was allowed to return home via ambulance and was reunited with her husband, Marvin, and older son, Junior.
The trio still have the coronavirus and will need to wait to be cleared of the virus till they can finally meet little Neysel in person for the very first time.
Meanwhile Luciana is looking after the newborn until his family is fit and healthy again. For this selfless gesture, the teacher has won praise from friends and strangers alike.
One old associate paid tribute to Luciana on Facebook, writing: ‘This pandemic is not what any of us imagined…but this unselfish act reminds us that our humanity makes us all essential. How will each of us respond when we are asked to simply show up and help?’