Teen Who Saved Mother and Son From Near Drowning in Virginia Key Dies

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  • Officials said a 25-year-old mother was teaching her 9-year-old son how to swim when they were both whisked away by strong currents.

The 17-year-old teen hailed as a hero for saving a mother and son from a near drowning in Virginia Key died Wednesday, according to a spokesperson with Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Christian Burgos had been in a coma since the Monday afternoon incident as family members were deciding whether to take him off life support.

Officials said a 25-year-old mother was teaching her 9-year-old son how to swim 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.

The teen was pulled out of the water by two bystanders. He was unconscious and not breathing, so paramedics began CPR and he was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

"He risked his life to save another life, I thank God for what he did but it's painful to see him suffering," said Burgos' mother, Carmen Avendano.

Burgos was a student at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. Dozens gathered Wednesday to remember the popular, well-liked and soccer-playing teen.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Burgos' family with funeral expenses. They're also hoping the funds will help Burgos' father come to the U.S. for the funeral since he was deported back to Nicaragua a year ago.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that Burgos had been declared dead. A spokesperon notified the media at 1:58 p.m. that Burgos had died. 

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