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Parents get 6-year-old son vaccinated in honor of grandfather who died of COVID

"I'd never seen anybody bond with our son like that. He's very missed. Even to this day my son will ask for him," Lisa Rivera said. "It was a special bond."

DENVER — The parking lots around Empower Field on a game day are lively, but no one is celebrating more this week than the Riveras. 

Lisa and Myke Rivera sat underneath their tailgate tent in parking lot C with their son, Mychal. As Mychal began to chant for the Broncos, his parents clapped along, celebrating something greater. 

"Our son who is 6 years old, Mychal, was able to get vaccinated," his dad Myke said. 

"He has Down syndrome. We've always had this fear because he gets sick really easily, and it's been a huge fear for us and we were curious when the opportunity was going to be. The opportunity struck and we took advantage of it," he said.

Lisa and Myke had their son carry a green sign to the appointment that read, "If I can do it, you can do it."

Credit: Myke Rivera

While Mychal may not know why he got jabbed that day, his parents said it was especially important to get him vaccinated. Mychal's grandfather, Dan, passed away from COVID early on in the pandemic.

"I'd never seen anyone bond with our son like that. He's very missed. Even to this day, my son will ask for him," Lisa said. "It was a special bond."

The Riveras hoped getting Mychal vaccinated would not only protect him, but also those around him. They stressed it was a small step they can do to keep everyone safe. 

"We’ve been through some dramatic times when COVID first hit, losing someone very dear to us," Myke said. "Mychal means the world to us. We'd do anything for him to make sure that he's healthy, and I think we're doing the right steps for Mychal to be successful with that." 

Last week, the White House said about 900,000 kids between 5 and 11 have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

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