According to the Red Cross, Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands for two days, destroying an excess of 13,000 homes. However, in the midst of all that devastation, the heartwarming reception that one 3-year-old boy received from his classmates in Florida has made its rounds on social media as a small but mighty beacon of hope.
According to ABC News, Makai Simmons and his mom, Tekara Capron, were stuck in the Bahamas during the storm, causing him to miss a whole week of school. On Monday, when he returned to the Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines, Fla., his friends could not have been happier to see him.
“As soon as he walked in, everyone just jumped up,” Capron said of her son’s first day back. “It was really emotional.”
Capron, who lived in the Bahamas until she was 19, decided to take her son to visit family over the Labor Day weekend. When they left, the 22-year old mom believed that she and her son were heading towards safety because Dorian was on track to hit Florida at that time.
“Everyone [in South Florida] was going crazy preparing for the storm,” Capron told Good Morning America. “We had to rush to the airport and there were huge lines at gas stations.”
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to escape. By the time Dorian hit the Bahamas, the hurricane escalated to a Category 5 storm and Capron and her family were right in its crosshairs. That’s when she made the decision to stay with her mom, sister, grandparents and extended relatives through the hurricane, as it slammed into the Bahamas on Sept. 1st.
“Makai was asking, ‘Is that a monster? Is that a monster?’ because that’s what he thought the storm was,” she recalled. “I just had to lie down and hold Makai in my arms.”
While her grandparent’s house held up in the storm, the inside was significantly flooded causing the family to lose nearly everything, including their clothes and Makai’s toys.
“He handled it very bravely, thankfully,” Capron said of her son who put on a Spiderman costume before wanting to go to help with the relief efforts. “He said, ‘Mommy I have to go save the children.'”
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House got flooded. Like much of my island, we lost everything. But I don’t care, they are material things. We have life, which cannot be replaced. In my 22 years of life, I have never seen anything like this. But at Kai’s 3rd year of life, he has experienced a storm that he refers to as a monster. A storm that makes him jump and hide at the sound of strong wind. A storm that inspired him to be brave and put on his life vest, saying “Mommy.. I have to go save the children in the water!” He doesn’t even like to hear the name Dorian. I felt this for the kids.. Thank you to all of my family and friends who checked up on us continuously throughout the storm and even offered their help😭 Thank you to EVERYONE who is already helping my people. MOST IMPORTANTLY, thank God for getting us through this!!🙌🏽🇧🇸
After waiting in lie for a staggering 13 hours, Friday evening, mother and son were able to board a cruise ship back to the U.S.
“The love we got when we got back to the U.S. was unbelievable,” Capron said. “I just want people to know that the Bahamas is a nation with loving people and a rich culture. We will gladly accept any help that anybody can give, and are extremely grateful for everyone who has been so loving.”
As for the reaction her child received from his friends she admits it was, “something he needed, and I needed it too.”
She shared video of the moment on her Instagram account, where it already has more than 15,000 views. Check out the heartwarming moment below.