This Connecticut elementary school teacher has gone above and beyond!

Teachers are known for their commitment to their students, often something that spreads beyond the walls of the classroom. For Luciana Lira, a Connecticut elementary school teacher, that commitment has gone to an entirely new level.

Lira works with students learning English as a second language at Hart Magnet Elementary. She received an unexpected and life-changing phone call on April 1, from Zully, the mother of one of her students, Junior. Zully was in the hospital eight months pregnant and facing an emergency Cesarean section. She was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and her condition was getting very scary very fast.

The baby was born five weeks early; mom tested positive for coronavirus and even needed to be put on a ventilator at one point. The baby boy named Neysel was only 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Thankfully, he did not test positive for COVID-19, however, the family was in a bind. The baby could not go home with dad, Marvin, as he and Junior could have the virus (both tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later).

Lira says Marvin called and told her, "I am desperate. I don’t want to kill my baby. If I'm COVID positive, he's probably not going to make it."

So, she decided to offer to let the baby stay with her for a few days. "I did not think twice about it. ... When that mom called me asking for help, it did not even come across my mind not to say 'yes,'" Lira told NBC News.

Luciana Lira
Picture of Luciana Lira as she heads to the hospital to pick up the baby. Courtesy of Luciana Lira (Facebook). 

Since then, the baby has been staying with her, her husband, and her 11-year-old son. Though she barely knew the parents before this, they have become like family. Her colleagues and friends have donated clothes and baby supplies to help give little Neysel everything he needs.

The community has reached out to support her, and Lira has started a GoFundMe to help the baby’s family through this very trying time. On the page, she shares how serious the situation is, explaining that Zully fought for her life for three weeks as she struggled to beat the virus. So far, several thousand dollars have been raised.

Lira has been communicating with the family, sharing pictures and videos of little Neysel. When mom, dad, and brother all test negative then baby Neysel will come home and meet his family in-person for the first time. Until then, he'll be under the care of Lira. 

This story truly brings tears to our eyes and is an example of true love and devotion to another human being. Share your thoughts on this amazing story of love, selflessness, and kindness in the comments.