MIAMI (WSVN) - Family and friends said their last goodbyes to a teenager who died in the hospital after saving a mother and her son from drowning in Virginia Key.
Attendees could be seen honoring 17-year-old Cristian Burgos during his wake at his aunt’s home in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Sunday night.
“None of us expected this,” Katherine Zamora, his cousin, said. “He was a part of us. We grew up with him. I grew up with him. It’s so hard, especially because he was so young.”
Burgos lost his life days after saving a 25-year-old mother and her 9-year-old son at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park last Monday. His cousin said he rescued the boy first by pushing him towards the shore, and then went back to try to save his mother before he was overcome by the tide.
Loved ones all wore white shirts with Burgos’ picture during the memorial to honor a life gone too soon. 7News cameras captured loved ones embracing each other as they mourned their loss.
The 17-year-old’s mother told 7News in Spanish that she is now heartbroken and devastated.
As his family prepares to lay him to rest, they said they are comforted by the ultimate sacrifice he made for two people he did not know, but they added, it does not erase the fact that he was taken away.
“It’s unfortunate, and yeah, it was heroic what he did,” Zamora said. “It was great, but for him to leave like this, it’s been very hard. It’s just hard.”
Burgos’ father, who is in Nicaragua, was unable to attend the ceremony after he was denied a tourist visa. However, he is hoping to get a humanitarian visa to be there when his son is buried.
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