PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A Florida toddler who was in the Bahamas when Hurricane Dorian battered the island nation received an emotional greeting from his classmates when he returned to school this week.
According to "Good Morning America," Makai Simmons, 3, and his mother, Tekara Capron, had been visiting family when the Category 5 storm struck the Bahamas on Sept. 1.
Capron said she held her son as they hunkered down in her grandparents' Freeport home, which remained standing through the hurricane. But floodwaters destroyed many of their belongings, she told "GMA."
After the storm, Makai decided to wear a Spider-Man life jacket, saying he wanted to "go save the children," Capron told WPLG.
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!!🙌🏽🇧🇸
Now, the pair are back in South Florida, where Makai is a student at Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines, according to WPLG.
On Monday, Makai's relieved classmates enveloped him in hugs when he walked through the door.
"My heart," Capron captioned a video of the heartwarming moment, which has since gone viral on Instagram. "Today was my son’s first day back to school in the USA after experiencing Hurricane Dorian in Freeport. The love he received from his friends as soon as he walked into class was so touching."