The 17-year-old Miami boy hailed as a hero for saving a mother and her son at a sandbar off Virginia Key, Florida, who was left hospitalized has died, according to a representative at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Cristian Burgos succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning, Oct. 2, hospital officials said.
Burgos was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center on Monday afternoon, Sept. 30, and had been in a coma after he rescued 25-year-old Elvia Venegas and her 9-year-old son from a near drowning.
Officials said the mother was teaching her son how to swim in the waters off historical Virginia Key Beach when they were both whisked away by strong currents. Burgos saw them struggling to swim back and jumped in to help, but he also got caught in the currents and had to be rescued from the dangerous waters by two bystanders.
He was unconscious and not breathing, so paramedics began CPR and transported him to the hospital.
On Tuesday night, the mother of this hero said she had not stopped praying for her son. Burgos was praised for his heroic personality by friends and family, according to WSVN.
Burgos’s cousin, Nelly Alvarado, said, “He’s always caring about other people. So I know that he didn’t think twice to go and help the woman and her child.”
Another cousin, Katherine Zamora, said, “I’m not surprised at all that he did that because he’s that kind of person.”
“He’s an amazing person,” said Mayte Padilla, Burgos’s girlfriend as she fought back tears. “What he did, I’m so proud of him.”
Several students visited the hospital on Tuesday with homemade banners to show their support for Burgos and his family.
“He was able to save the lives of two people while putting his own life at stake,” said school principal William Aristide. “No other better way to describe him other than the word ‘Hero.’”
Burgos’s family expressed their gratitude online for all the support and prayers they received as well as the donations they received through their GoFundMe account.