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Florida Teen Hero Dies 2 Days After Saving a Young Mom and Her Son

Antonia 12/08/2021

A 17-year-old Florida boy who saved a mother and her young son from drowning in powerful rip currents before himself getting into trouble in the water has died after he was taken off of life support on Wednesday. 

Cristian Burgos of Miami rescued a 25-year-old mother and her 9-year-old son from the waters off of Virginia Key on Monday.

The mother, Elvia Venegas, had been teaching her son how to swim when they got caught in strong rip currents, according to . 

Burgos jumped into the water to save the struggling pair, but was whisked away by the strong current as well.

Cristian Burgos (pictured) jumped into strong rip currents to save a 25-year-old mother and her 9-year-old son from drowning

Witnesses and authorities stand on the beach of Virginia Key after Burgos saved the mother and son (pictured)

Paramedics dispatched to the beach around 5pm after reports came in of a possible drowning. 

Venegas and her son survived, but were taken to the hospital to be examined by doctors. 

Burgos was pulled from the water by two bystanders, but was unconscious and not breathing.  

Paramedics and authorities (pictured) dispatched to Virginia Key around 5pm after receiving calls of a possible drowning

Elvia Venegas, the mother, (pictured) was reportedly teaching her son (pictured) how to swim before being whisked away by paramedics after the incident

Emergency crews performed CPR before Burgos was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in a critical condition.  

Two days later, Burgos died after his family took him off life support. 

Burgos (pictured) was taken off of life support by his family and died on Wednesday

On the family's  page, they wrote: '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.'

'Thank you all who have been donating to help his mother, from the bottom of our hearts. We ask you to keep us the family, specially his mother in your prayers. God bless you all.'

His mother, Maria Del Camren Avenado, told : '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.' 

Friends and family of Burgos (pictured) remembered him as 'heroic', inspiring and someone who always looked out for people

Avenado is dealing with the death of her only son without Burgos' father, who was deported to Nicaragua.   

Nelly Alvarado, Burgos' cousin, is proud of him. 

'I am honestly very proud of him. It was a selfless act,' she said.

'He didn't think twice to go and help people. I know it was just instincts just like he has done for everyone his whole life, helping other people. He would be happy to know that he saved two people and he will be happy again.'

Another cousin named Katherine Zamora said: 'I feel really proud of him and while some might be critical of him risking his own life like this, I know I would have done the same thing.'

'I always knew he would do stuff like that. He always looked out for other people.'

Friends and classmates from Burgos' school, Booker T. Washington High School, called him 'heroic' and remembered as someone to be admired. 

Classmates (pictured) supported Burgos by creating and signing two posters that they delivered to him while in the hospital

Jasmine Rodriguez: 'He was heroic. I'm really proud of him. I'm sad he got hurt, but I'm happy he did what he did because I know the type of person he is.'

'I feel really inspired by him and he has inspired other people as well.'

Emmanuel Acevedo, an eleventh grader, told CBS 4: 'I admire him very much. He showed us how inspiring this was with his risking his own life and he was rushed to the hospital. He is a warrior.'

Students supported Burgos by creating and signing large posters to give to him.  

Several of Burgos' teachers visited the Jackson Memorial Hospital to remember the selfless boy. 

Miami-Dade Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho expressed his grief over Burgos' death and called the young teen 'courageous'

'He was the type of student who helped out other students,' Veronique Toussaint said.

'Bilingual, helping with translations. A role model for the ninth graders.' 

Nelson Fernandez said: 'He leaves a legacy to follow his footsteps. He was the one whenever there was a need he was there and we hope to follow his legacy moving forward.'

Miami-Dade Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho expressed the grief he and the community are facing.

He said: ' With deep sadness, I join [Booker T. Washington High School] & the entire [Miami-Dade County Public Schools] family in mourning the passing of a kind & giving teen who left an indelible mark on those who knew him.'

'One whose courageous actions will live on forever. Sincerest thoughts are w/ Christian's family.' 

Miami Shores FOP praised Burgos, saying 'no word other than HERO can describe him' on their Twitter account

Even with all the kind words, Avendano said: 'That doesn't take away my pain.'

'The pain is so deep. My boy, every time I see something that reminds me of him, it destroys me.'

Venegas is thankful for Burgos' compassionate actions that saved her and her son that day.  

'If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be alive right now,' she said.

'I am just eternally grateful at this moment. That's all I can say right now.' 

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