Tylar Krause, a school nurse at Kleberg Elementary in Dallas, TX, is used to treating kids for all kinds of aches and pains. And helping women give birth isn’t exactly in her job description.
But that didn’t stop her from jumping into action when the mother of one of her students went into labor. Loren Carcamo was pregnant with her third child when she got a call from her kids’ school. Her six-year-old daughter Lorette had a fever and needed to be picked up. Carcamo arrived at the elementary school feeling dizzy and lightheaded when suddenly, her water broke.
Krause is no stranger to stressful situations. She worked as an emergency room nurse during the pandemic, but this was her first time delivering a baby.
The nurse quickly set up a birthing area in her office using a low pediatric cot, the same place where she normally treats kids for tummy aches.
“Please get me someone in here who has at least given birth,” she yelled out. Carcamo’s contractions were getting more frequent and there wasn’t time to get her to the nearest hospital.
That’s when Maria Perez Carballo, a fifth-grade teacher and former doctor, came into the room to offer her assistance. “There was a general vibe of freak-out until Ms. Perez walked in,” Krause said. “She was so calm, collected. She was like, ‘Let’s do this.’”
Carballo worked as a doctor in Venezuela before immigrating to the United States where she became a teacher. She has delivered hundreds of babies as part of her work.
The teacher examined the mother and saw the baby’s head peeking out. “The baby is going to be born here,” Carballo announced. “We don’t have time.”
The pandemics soon arrived on the scene to coach Carcamo, the mother, through labor in both English and Spanish to help her feel more comfortable. Without a pole, Krause had to hold the IV bag in the air.
The baby came out purple and wrapped in the umbilical cord before turning pink and starting to cry. “I was in shock,” Carcamo said. The paramedics then wheeled her and her baby out of the school and onto the nearest hospital.
Krause said she wouldn’t have known what to do if Carballo hadn’t been there to lend her expertise.
Caraballo helped hundreds of women give birth in her native country before becoming an eye surgeon. Economic problems in Venezuela forced her family to leave in search of a better life. They wound up in Costa Rica but she struggled to find work in a foreign country.
“When you leave your country, you need to have an open mind,” Caraballo said. “If you can’t follow your path of what things you planned for your whole life, you need to be open to change.”
After another two years, she finally landed a job in the U.S.
Dallas ISD Elementary Kleberg often recruits bilingual educators from abroad to better serve the local Hispanic population in south Texas.
Krause said having Caraballo there felt like fate.
“I’m sorry you had to leave your profession and country,” Krause told her after the experience. “We’re so blessed you were here.”
“I’m glad I could be useful, still, in that area for anybody who needs it,” Caraballo responded.