When this nanny took a toddler for a walk one day, she could never have known the two-year-old’s life would be in danger. But as she pushed him across the street in his stroller near a four-way intersection, a car came speeding towards them. Then, as she quickly realized the car would strike him, her instincts suddenly kicked in.
Caroline Maurer is a student originally from Falmouth, Massachusetts but now living in Los Angeles, California. To earn some extra income during her studies, she occasionally worked as a nanny. Watching kids is something she has done since she was a young girl.
Indeed, Maurer loves kids, and started babysitting at the age of seven. Speaking on a YouTube video posted by a client, she explains, “Kids are great! They make me my most present. And they are the most present and hilarious and wonderful little weirdos.”
Maurer, it appears, is very attentive to the kids in her care. She takes the time to draw with them, and even sometimes gets creative with food. Parents of the kids Maurer cares for describe her as being part of the family, while one child simply says, “I love Caroline.”
However, Maurer has a particularly special bond with one boy. His name is Fox, and she has known him since he was just four months old. Now aged a little over two, Maurer describes him as, “a wonderful, sweet little boy.” And she says, “I love him so much.”
In fact, as first-time parents, Fox’s mom Courtney Davis feels like she learned a lot from Maurer. As she described to CBS Los Angeles in October 2017, “Truly I felt like we lucked out. I felt like we won the lottery with nannies.” Clearly, they couldn’t have made a better choice.
Due to her studies, however, Maurer became unable to care for Fox regularly. In fact, she hadn’t done so for several months. But because of their close bond, she was more than happy to assist on the odd occasion that his parents needed a sitter. One such day was March 28, 2017.
Maurer was walking Fox in his stroller that morning, a mere block away from the family’s home in the Atwater Village neighborhood in L.A. The nanny came to cross the street near a four-way intersection. Looking in all directions, she could see the road was clear, so she began to cross.
Before Maurer had reached the other side, however, a car approached the junction. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield at the four-way stop. As the car made a left turn at the junction, it was suddenly on a path directly towards Maurer, still pushing Fox’s stroller across the road.
With the car approaching, Maurer could almost see the scene playing out in front of her. As she described to Fox 8, “It was going to be [Fox] hit since he was kind of more in front of me. So as the car turned in I was screaming. ‘Stop! Stop!’” But the vehicle just kept coming.
As the car careened towards her and Fox, Maurer’s instincts took over. Realizing the vehicle would hit the stroller on its current path, she knew she had to do something and fast. With an almighty shove, she pushed the stroller towards the curb and out of harm’s way.
Maurer’s quick reactions, however, came at a price. As she pushed the stroller away from her, she positioned her body to shield Fox from the car and extended her arms, braced for the inevitable impact. And when it finally came the effects of the strike were immense.
According to a post written by Fox’s mom, Courtney Davis, on a YouCaring page, “The car hit Caroline, throwing her a few feet and fracturing bones in her hands, wrists, and arms. Our son was not directly hit, and miraculously escaped with only minor scrapes and bruises.”
And yet despite her own injuries, Maurer’s first thoughts turned to Fox in the stroller. In her words, “Fox was strapped in and I couldn’t get him out because my hands were crushed. [Fox] was screaming, ‘Nanny Caroline, Nanny Caroline, I love you,’ which broke my heart because I couldn’t hold him.”
Maurer’s injuries would keep her in hospital for two-and-a-half weeks. Indeed, the damage to her hands alone rendered them unrecognizable. As Maurer described in the video, “When I first saw my hands I didn’t know how they would resemble hands again.”
After her initial stay in hospital, Maurer then spent a further two months in rehab. After several surgeries, three months after the accident, the weakness in her arms, wrists and hands had subsided a little. The nanny could finally begin a physical therapy program.
Maurer is still undergoing physical therapy, and because of the severity of her injuries is unable to work. She has also been forced to delay her studies for the foreseeable future. In fact, it is as yet unknown how full of a recovery the heroic nanny will ever make.
“I may never get back to full strength or full dexterity. It’s going to be a different way of being in the world,” Maurer described in the YouTube video, as her heavily bandaged and immobile hands wiped a tear from her eyes. Nevertheless, Fox’s parents are grateful to her for protecting their son.
As Fox’s dad Bill Wolkoff explained in the video, “The ambulance driver came up to me and he told me that I needed to see this as a good day, because [Caroline] saved Fox’s life.” Forever indebted to their nanny, the parents set up a YouCaring page to raise money for Maurer’s hospital expenses.
“I think my first reaction was, ‘She’s family for the rest of our lives,’” Wolkoff told KTLA of the bond with Maurer. Davis, meanwhile, added, “As a mom you give your kid to somebody else… your hope and your dream is that they’re going to treat your kid like their own. I’m just so grateful to her.”