A teenage boy who bravely jumped into the ocean to successfully save a young mother and her son who'd gotten caught in the current, died days later from injuries sustained in the rescue.
Elvia Venegas, 25, and her 9-year-old son were swimming in Virginia Key, an island in Miami, Florida, when a rip tide began dragging them under. Cristian Burgos, 17, didn’t hesitate to run into the water to help, CBS Miami reports.
“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be alive right now,” Venegas told CBS Miami through a Spanish translator.
After getting the mother and son to safety, Burgos himself got caught in the current and had to be saved by others.
Burgos was brought out of the water alive and CPR was immediately administered on him, but tragically he soon fell into a coma. He succumbed to his injuries Wednesday, WSVN in Miami reports.
Now, the brave teen is being hailed a hero in death.
“He’s always caring about other people,” Nelly Alvarado, cousin of Burgos, told WSVN. “So, I know that he didn’t think twice to go and help the woman and her child.”
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement that the teen’s actions were both “heroic and inspirational.”
“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,” he said. “I had a chance to pray at the hospital with both the mother of the boy who is fighting for his life as well as the mother and the 9-year-old boy who were saved.”
Burgos was a senior at Booker T. Washington High School where he was known for helping out younger students. The school is now in mourning.
"As a teacher, to lose a student and then to see the reaction of all the other students too, it's been devastating," Burgos' teacher, Nelson Fernandez, told Local 10 News in Miami.
Burgos' mother told CBS Miami, “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 not happened to him.”
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