On the same day he learned his father passed away, a new dad did his best to comfort his two-month-old son as he received his first vaccinations.
Antwon Lee of Warrenton, Georgia, took his newborn son, Debias King, to the pediatrician on October 26 to get his immunization shots. But Lee says he was incredibly nervous about the appointment because he knew his little man was not going to be happy.
“I felt kind of scared a little bit, I knew he was going to go through some pain,” Lee, 29, tells PEOPLE. “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.”
As the nurse gave Debias his shots, Lee was so concentrated on comforting his son that he didn’t notice his girlfriend, Shamekia Harris, was recording him on her smartphone. Her video, which was uploaded to Facebook that same day, shows Lee telling Debias to “stay strong,” even though it seems he is just as anguished about seeing his son cry.
I felt the pain he was going through!” Lee says of the ordeal. “Aat that moment, there was pressure, but at the same time, it was beautiful.”
Once the vaccinations were completed, the video shows Lee sweetly picking up his son and consoling him—amazingly, Debias stops crying within moments. The video of the immunizations has gone viral, garnering more than 12 million views and 35,000 comments on Facebook.
What viewers might not know is that on that same day, Lee found out that his father, Anthony Lee, 57, died from complications from drinking.
“I was very emotional. I was the baby son, I was very close to him,” Lee says of his relationship with his father. “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.”
That night, with the preciousness of life on his mind, Lee says he spoke with his two-month-old son about what he hopes for his 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 says. “I told him, before I leave, want to see him succeed. I want to see him succeed before I die, that’s all I want.”
He says he hopes the video reminds other men of the importance—and beauty—of fatherhood.
“I want them to take care of their kids, because when you sign up for something, you have to stick with it, you gotta go,” he says. “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.”