After a day in hospital, the teenage boy who heroically saved a mother and her son from drowning at Virginia Key Beach has died, according to a spokesperson at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Cristian Burgos, 17, was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center on the afternoon of Sept. 30 after rescuing a 9-year-old boy and his 25-year-old mother from the beach in Miami, Florida.
School officials and community members came together to support Burgos and had been waiting for him to regain consciousness, according to WSVN. Burgos’s mother had not left his side since he was transported to the hospital.
“I’m not surprised at all that he did that because he’s that kind of person,” Burgos’s cousin, Katherin Zamora, told WSVN.
According to officials, Burgos first spotted the mother and her son struggling on a sandbar in rough surf on Monday afternoon.
While witnesses were screaming with terror, Burgos attempted to save the two. He rescued the boy first by pushing him towards the shore, and then went back to save the mother.
That’s when he got into trouble himself. He was soon found floating in the water and others had to jump in to pull him out.
“He’s always caring about other people,” Nelly Alvarado, another of Burgos’s cousins, told the local news outlet. “So, I know that he didn’t think twice to go and help the woman and her child.”
Burgos was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he lay in a coma until Wednesday.
Several students came together outside the hospital to recognize Burgos’s heroic actions. He was a senior at Booker T. Washington High School and was admired by his classmates.
“He’s an amazing person,” Mayte Padilla, Burgos’s girlfriend, told WSVN. “What he did, I’m so proud of him.”
“He was able to save the lives of two people while putting his own life at stake,” school principal William Aristide said. “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 have received, as well as the donations they received through their GoFundMe page.