When Hurricane Dorian was set to hit Florida, a 22-year-old mom from Pembroke Pines named Tekara Capron and her son Makai were on their way to visit family in the Bahamas. They thought they were dodging a bullet. But while Capron and her son were in the Bahamas, Dorian had escalated to a Category 5. Because traveling again was going to be too difficult, and Capron wanted to stay to be with her mom, sister, grandparents, and extended family through the hurricane, the pair stayed put at her grandparents' house in Freeport.
"Dorian was absolutely a traumatic experience, especially as a parent," Capron told HLN. "I knew that I had to focus on not only myself but I had to focus on my kid."
The door to the house flew open at one point and Makai was cuddled up to her, scared. Capron recalled to HLN, "He would wake up in the middle of the night and say ‘Mommy, I’m scared’ because the wind was just too loud and it was just too scary. You never knew when you’d have to get up and run for your life."
Thankfully, the house held up despite the 183 mph winds, but it was flooded and the family lost almost everything, including most clothes and Makai's toys. "He handled it very bravely, thankfully," Capron told Good Morning America. "He was like, 'It's OK, Mommy.'" Later, when he learned about the effect the storm had and the fact that some people were trapped, Makai said, "Mommy, I have to go and save the children in the water."
"In the wake of the hurricane, I felt like I was doing a good job as a mom with raising my son," Capron says. "At 3 years old, he acquired bravery and selflessness. He’s also been a big superhero fan and he felt it was his job to save the children. His words were and I quote, That was such a heartwarming moment for me. My little toddler wanted to save others even while he was experiencing such trauma and fear."
On Friday, September 6, the pair boarded a cruise ship back to the U.S. after waiting in line for 13 hours, Capron told GMA. When they got into Palm Beach, they were met by strangers who offered water, food, and clothing. There were even Lyft drivers offering free rides. "The love we got when we got back to the U.S. was unbelievable," Capron told the outlet.
Then, on Monday, September 9, Makai was met with an incredibly heartwarming greeting on his first day back at the Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines. Capron captured the incredible moment in a video that quickly went viral.
"I’m extremely shocked and blessed that so many people felt positively impacted by the video," Capron says. "I uploaded it to make my Bahamian family and friends feel a sense of love and support during this traumatic time. I had no idea this video would spread so fast and bring joy to the entire world. My family feels so appreciative of all this love."
Capron hopes the video and her experience sends people the message that "no matter what you go through in life, it’s all for some extraordinary reason. After that catastrophic storm, the sun is shining. Although it is still hard for many of us, there are many blessings coming our way. Another message I hope it sends is that kids emulate exactly what we, as adults, should strive to be. They show love despite race, color or any other factor and it is simply inspiring."