A little 3-year-old boy was welcomed back to school with lots of hugs from his classmates in Florida after riding out Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Makai Simmons had first day back at school while he was with his mom, Tekara Capron, were stuck in the Bahamas.
Makai Simmons had his first day back at school earlier this month at the Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines after
“As soon as he walked in, everyone just jumped up,” Capron said of her son’s first day back. “It was really emotional.”
Capron and Makai had been planning a trip over Labor Day weekend to visit family in the Bahamas, where Capron was born and lived until she was 19. And when they left, they believed they were dodging a bullet as Dorian was on track to hit Florida.
“Everyone [in South Florida] was going crazy preparing for the storm,” Capron, 22, shared. “We had to rush to the airport and there were huge lines at gas stations.”
By the time they were in the Bahamas, Dorian had become a Category 5 storm and was on track to devastate the island.
Capron decided to stay in the Bahamas with her son because leaving was too difficult logistically and also they wanted to stay with her mom, sister, grandparents and extended family through the hurricane.
Hurrican Dorian rammed into the Bahamas on September 1st, making landfall as a Category 5, and 183 mph buzzsaw-like winds, causing massive destruction and killing at least 50 people.
Both Carpon and Makai were able to ride out the storm at her granparents’ house in Freeport. And at one point, the door to the house flew open.
“Makai was asking, ‘Is that a monster? Is that a monster?’ because that’s what he thought the storm was,” Capron recalled. “I just had to lie down and hold Makai in my arms.”
While Capron’s grandparent’s house was able to withstand the storm, it did flood and they lost everything — including most of their clothes as well as Makai’s toys.
“He handled it very bravely, thankfully,” Capron added. “He was like, ‘It’s OK, Mommy.'”
When Capron revealed to Makai how some people, including children, were trapped after the hurricane, Makai put on a Spiderman costume that survived the storm and offered to help.
“He said, ‘Mommy I have to go save the children,'” recalled Capron.
Both Capron and Makai were able to board a cruise ship back to the U.S. after waiting in line for 13 hours.
They were met in Palm Beach by strangers with water, food and clothing — Lyft drivers were even offering free rides.
“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.”
Capron said the sweet welcome Makai got on his first day back at school Monday was “something he needed, and I needed it too.”
Capron shared how her grandmother, who is still in the Bahamas, called her crying after watching the video of her great-grandson.
“Right now, we’re seeing so much trauma, so to see the love that kids are showing, I thought that was beautiful,” she said. “The rest of the world needed to see that too, especially the Bahamas.”