Tekara Capron and her son, 3-year-old Makai Simmons, spent the Labor Day holiday with her family in the Bahamas and weathered Hurricane Dorian at her grandmother's home, which escaped with only minor damage. But Makai returned home to Florida with nightmares.
“It’s just that when he’s asleep. He’s more afraid of darkness than usual,” his mother Tekara Capron told NBC News.
“He thought Dorian was a monster,” she said.
Makai was still processing the storm’s aftermath when he returned to school last week at Learning City Academy in Pembroke Pines, and his classmates seemed to sense a difference in him.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Makai was greeted with hugs by his fellow students in a moment caught on camera that's now a viral Instagram video, seen over 20,000 times.
“Makai, you look different!” a student is heard shouting in the video as Makai is hugged by several of his caring classmates on his first day back.
Dorian left Makai afraid, but his mother said he’s “a little happier” since getting attention around the world.
Capron, a 22-year old sonography student, said some of her family from the Bahamas now live with her in Florida.
Some of her family evacuated to Fort Lauderdale by plane and she, her son, mother, sister and brother evacuated on a cruise ship to West Palm Beach.
“They’re just thankful to be alive,” Capron said of her family.
A photo of her son in a Spider-Man vest shows him standing next to an uprooted tree outside of her great grandmother’s home in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama.