LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Lancaster teacher who spent weeks teaching his elementary school class from his hospital room is grateful to be home and celebrating Thanksgiving with his family.
Janet Udomratsak was hospitalized last year due to pregnancy complications during the height of the pandemic. She lay in bed alone in her room for weeks without being able to see her husband or family.
“It was the hardest thing ever. Not being able to get up. Not being able to do anything. Not being able to see the family,” Udomratsak said.
Udomratsak, an elementary school teacher, was determined to continue the work of transforming his hospital suite into a virtual classroom. She had a laptop and a whiteboard inches away from a hospital monitor and a crib right out of the frame for students who were connected to a video class from their computers at home.
She even arranged lunch breaks with doctors doing their rounds. To keep her students from worrying, she kept it a secret for as long as she could – until a little girl noticed something funny.
“I slipped my hand under the document camera while I was writing and my bracelets were on and she caught it and she was like ‘Ms. U, why do you have hospital bracelets?’ “And I thought it was nothing, it’s nothing. And I just kept teaching.”
Janet came home from the hospital with something of a story to tell and most importantly a healthy little boy.
“I’m really grateful to have my family. To actually be here.”
Janet is also back in the classroom teaching at a new school and is grateful to be able to greet her students in person instead of through a screen.