Makai Simmons, 3, has a loving, supportive group of friends, and they made sure he knew it on his first day back to school after surviving Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
“My heart. Today was my son’s first day back to school in the USA after experiencing Hurricane Dorian in Freeport,” his mother captioned a video of the touching moment on Instagram. “The love he received from his friends as soon as he walked into class was so touching.”
The video, which shows a group of children at the Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines, Florida, greeting Makai with smiles, hugs and lots of love, has been viewed nearly 15,000 times.
Makai was visiting family with his mother, Tekara Capron, 22, a native of Freeport, over the Labor Day weekend when the Category 5 hurricane made landfall on September 1, ABC reports.
Their family, like many, lost everything.
Simmons missed a week of school due to being stuck in the Bahamas with his mom, but they were able to journey back to Florida via a cruise ship, which arrived Friday (September 6).
“As soon as he walked in, everyone just jumped up,” Capron, a student at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, told ABC. “It was really emotional.”
She took Makai to her native island thinking they were dodging the hurricane that was on track to make landfall in Florida.
“Everyone [in South Florida] was going crazy preparing for the storm,” she said. “We had to rush to the airport, and there were huge lines at gas stations.”
In fact, they were heading to the eye of the storm, and shortly after their arrival, Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane.
Capron posted IG photos of the devastation following the hurricane with one showing Makai wearing a Spiderman vest. His mother said he intended to save the children in the water.
“House got flooded,” she wrote September 4. “Like much of my island, we lost everything. But I don’t care, they are material things. We have life, which cannot be replaced.”
The death toll is currently at 50 and is still expected to rise, reports Reuters.
“In my 22 years of life, I have never seen anything like this,” Capron added. “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,” she continued. “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!!”
(Photo: Tekara Capron Instagram @honeyinashell)