Cristian Burgos' father was recently deported to Nicaragua, though local lawmakers are helping him return to the U.S. for his son's funeral

By Rachel DeSantis
October 04, 2019 12:13 PM
Cristian Burgos
Go Fund Me

The funeral for a 17-year-old Florida hero who died after rescuing a mother and her young son from rough waters in Miami has been postponed in order to ensure his recently deported father will be able to attend, according to a GoFundMe page.

While a vigil for Cristian Burgos will still take place on Sunday, his funeral and memorial have been pushed back so that his father can make it back to the U.S. from Nicaragua, said an update on the GoFundMe page, which is raising money for Burgos’ medical expenses.

“We want to make sure that Cristian’s dad is there with him for his last few moments, therefore we are pushing the funeral till further notice,” the GoFundMe page reads. “Please keep Cristian’s family in your prayers so that they may come together one last time.”

The page previously stated that Burgos’ family would need help paying medical bills, as “his mom is a single mom and his dad was recently deported to Nicaragua.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told ABC affiliate WPLG that Florida lawmakers like Rep. Donna Shalala and Sen. Rick Scott have been lending a hand in getting Burgos’ father the humanitarian visa he needs.

RELATED: Florida Teen Dies 2 Days After Saving a Young Mom and Her Son: ‘He Is a Hero’

A spokesperson for Shalala’s office confirms to PEOPLE that Carvalho reached out on Thursday, and that she and Scott’s office have helped arrange a future meeting between Burgos’ father and the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua. (Scott did not immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

Burgos made headlines after he leapt into action on Monday when he noticed Elvia Venegas, 25, and her 9-year-old son had been pushed away from shore by a strong current while swimming along a sandbar at Virginia Key Beach on Key Biscayne, Fox affiliate WSVN reported.

He rescued the child first, then Venegas, but as they headed back to safety, Burgos was pulled under by the current. The teen was rescued and rushed in critical condition to the hospital, where he died on Wednesday.

Burgos’ classmates at Booker T. Washington High School, where he was a senior, paid tribute to him the next day by taking to the athletic field and forming the word “hero” with their bodies, WPLG reports.

RELATED VIDEO: Toddler Twins Drown in Backyard Pool at Daycare with History of Complaints

His mother was also given a plaque, and Carvalho announced a $20,000 scholarship in Burgos’ name that will go to students who demonstrate courage, determination, kindness, and selflessness, a spokeswoman for Carvalho tells PEOPLE.

“I don’t know of a better definition of a hero than that young man,” principal William Aristide told WPLG.

Burgos’ mother Maria Del Carmen Avenado previously issued a statement to CBS affiliate WFOR remembering her son as the “best.”

“He’s the most beautiful person I have had,” she said. “He is a hero. I am happy and I am sad because I wish this had not happened to him.”

His girlfriend Mayte Padilla was equally praise-worthy, telling the outlet: “He’s an amazing person. What he did, I’m so proud of him.”

Advertisement