There’s nothing worse for a parent than seeing a baby in pain, and there’s no guidebook to help them on how to respond. But one father from Warrenton, Georgia, might be able to offer some tips. The proud dad took the internet by storm after a video showing his reaction to his baby crying over vaccination shots went viral.
Antwon Lee took his adorable two-month-old son to a pediatrician to get immunization shots. The baby boy, Debias King, had never been vaccinated before. As a result, Antwon was pretty sure his little fella would be in a lot of distress after the injections.
The appointment was on October 26, 2017, the same day that Antwon learned the heart-breaking news that his father, Anthony Lee, had passed away. He had been close to his dad, who was only 57 at the time of his death.
“I was very emotional. I was the baby son, I was very close to him,” he told People about their relationship. “But I don’t deal with good or bad days, I deal with peaceful days. I deal with peaceful days so I know my dad is in a peaceful place.”
Still, while coping with this tragic loss, Antwon continued his fatherly duties and took his child to the appointment, though he was anxious about the baby’s potential reaction. The 29-year-old father spoke with People about his nerves.
He said, “I felt kind of scared a little bit, I knew he was going to go through some pain. I had to figure out a way to comfort him, and the day before, I talked to him and said if he needed to cry, go ahead and cry. That morning when we got there, and I let him know again it was okay to cry.”
The father and son went to the pediatrician with Antwon’s girlfriend, Shamekia Harris. Antwon stayed by Debias’ side as the nurse gave him his shots, and that’s when Shamekia started to record the moment on her smartphone.
Antwon can be seen comforting the boy in the most wonderful way. He didn’t even notice his girlfriend recording, so lost was he in his son’s eyes. He was trying to ease his little boy’s pain and let him know that it was fine to cry.
The video is almost three minutes long, and it’s the sweetest thing you’ll see today. From start to finish, Antwon proves himself to be a caring and attentive father, repeating the words, “It’s okay to cry,” and “I got you.”
The video shows him sitting on a chair with little Debias in his arms. The nurse then asks Antwon to put the baby on the table to get his shots. As the baby starts to cry after each injection, Antwon raises his voice and says, “Look at Daddy!” He goes on to hold Debias’ little hands, saying “I know!”, referring to the pain.
After the final shot is administered, Antwon picks up Debias to soothe him and it’s here that more paternal magic happens. Within seconds, Debias stops crying and relaxes into his sweet and caring father’s arms. Antwon later recalled the moment. “I felt the pain he was going through! At that moment, there was pressure, but at the same time, it was beautiful,” he said.
Antwon rubs his son’s back, jokingly repeating, “They did you wrong, man!” He then asks Debias to explain what the nurse did to him and the baby starts mumbling, as if to reply. Then the brave little man nestles his head into his dad’s shoulder and begins to calm down.
Debias is actually one of those rare babies who seldom cry. According to Antwon, the only time he usually breaks into tears is if he’s hungry. So, the fact that these injections made him sob shows how much pain and shock he would’ve been in.
Antwon spoke with ABC News and told them how difficult the whole situation actually was. He said, “I felt his pain, but at the same time it was all about love. I know he felt the love because his daddy was there.”
Later that day, Antwon posted the video to his Facebook page. He captioned it, “I felt his pain, wait till the end.” Not surprisingly, the video of his pep talk has since blown up and gone viral. It’s had an incredible 16 million views and has been shared more than 200,000 times.
The footage touched so many people that nearly 40,000 comments have been left, with most praising Antwon as an amazing father. Michelle Obie wrote, “So sweet and adorable. Don’t cry little man,” while Mary Lambert added, “Love it! Good job Daddy calming him right now!”
That night, after the news of his father’s passing and his boy’s first vaccination shots, he spoke to Debias about his hopes for their future. “I talked to him like a grown up. I let him know there will be a day I’m going to have to die, I’m going to have to leave this world,” he said.
Antwon told his son that he wants to see him succeed before he dies – he said that that was all he really wanted. He also hopes that the viral video works to highlight the significance of fatherhood, and to showcase what a wonderful thing it can be.
He said, “I want [fathers who watch the video] to take care of their kids, because when you sign up for something, you have to stick with it, you gotta go. My son is here, I’m signed up for it, and I have a beautiful mom for my child, and I’m going to be with him to the day I die.”
With Antwon’s natural flair for parenthood, it’s hard to believe that Debias is in fact his first born. But, if the pair’s trip to the pediatrician is anything to go by, it’s clear that father and son are going to enjoy a great and lasting bond in life.