Florida Teen Dies 2 Days After Saving a Young Mom and Her Son: 'He Is a Hero'
"He's the best son. He's the most beautiful person," Cristian Burgos' mother said
A Florida teenager has tragically died just two days after he heroically saved a mother and her son from drowning.
On Monday, Elvia Venegas, 25, and her 9-year-old son were swimming along a sandbar at Virginia Key Beach when they were hit with a strong current that pushed them away from shore, WSVN News 7 reported.
Thinking fast, Cristian Burgos, 17, sprang into action and leapt into the water.
He rescued the young child first before saving Venegas.
As Venegas and her son swam back to safety, Burgos was pulled under by the current and had to be rescued, according to WSVN News 7.
He was then rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. He died on Wednesday.
His cause of death is unknown at this time.
“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive right now,” Venegas told CBS Miami. “I am just eternally grateful at this moment. That’s all I can say right now.”
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Following news of Burgos’ death, his family released a statement obtained by CBS Miami, saying, “Our little hero has passed away less than 10 minutes ago… We want to thank you all who have been praying for his supernatural recovery.”
His mother Maria Del Carmen Avenado also spoke out in a separate statement, telling the outlet, “He’s the best son. He’s the most beautiful person I have had. He is a hero. I am happy and I am sad because I wish this had no happened to him.”
Burgos’ girlfriend expressed similar sentiments.
“He’s an amazing person,” Mayte Padilla told WSVN News 7. “What he did, I’m so proud of him.”
Burgos’ cousin Nelly Alvarado explained that he was a selfless person.
“He’s always caring about other people,” Alvarado told the outlet. “So I know that he didn’t think twice to go and help the woman and her child.”
Burgos will not only be missed by his family, but also his community.
The late teen, who was a senior at Booker T. Washington High School, has been remembered by his teachers and classmates.
“He’s going to leave a legacy to his peers to follow in his footsteps,” Dr. Nelson Fernandez, a teacher at Booker T. Washington High School said to WSVN News 7.
Miami-Dade Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho has also paid tribute to him.
“This was a selfless act of heroism and he should be recognized in our community and we should join in prayers for this remarkable young man,” Carvalho told CBS Miami.
A GoFundMe page has been created in hopes of raising funds to cover Burgos’ medical and funeral costs.