Loved ones identify teen hospitalized after saving mother, son from drowning off Virginia Key

Cristian Burgos, 17, remains hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Loved ones have identified a 17-year-old boy who nearly drowned while rescuing a woman and her 9-year-old son from the waters off Virginia Key as Cristian Burgos, a senior and soccer player at Booker T. Washington Senior High School.

"There was one time when I was with him, and they were checking his pupils, and he was responsive, but we're not sure. They haven't really said anything," Burgos' cousin, Nelly Alvarado, told Local 10 News. 

Burgos' mother, Maria Avendaño told Local 10 News she's in too much pain to talk about how her son is a hero. 

He is her only child. 

Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela spoke with Burgos' principal Tuesday, William Aristide, who described Burgos as a good kid and solid student who is bilingual and is always willing to help his classmates in the ESOL program. 

His cousins said they weren't shocked that he saved two people's lives.

"I'm not surprised at all that he did that because, you know, he's that kind of person," Katherine Zamora said. 

"I know that he didn't think twice to go and help the women and this child," Alvarado added.

Maynor Montez, the 9-year-old child who nearly drowned Monday, said Burgos risked his life to save his.

"The water took us. Then I was calling for help," Montez said. 

Montez and his mother were swept out Monday while swimming off the beach at Virginia Key. 

Authorities said they got caught in the undercurrent. 

That's when Burgos jumped in the water to help. He too got caught in the strong rip currents and had to be rescued from the water.

Firefighters performed CPR on the teen, who was then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. The mother and child were also taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Montez's mother said she feels indebted to Burgos. 

A GoFundMe page has been created to help with Burgos' growing medical bills.

"Well, I know he's going to see this because I know he's going to wake up, and I just want him to know that we love him and we're here for him and we're just waiting for him," Alvarado said. 

About the Authors: