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Teen hero Cristian Burgos' father united with family after funeral

Father only allowed in US for 5 days after son's drowning death

MIAMI – This father said the process was not easy to get here. With his humanitarian visa, Misael Burgos is permitted to stay in the United States for five days. He told Local 10 News he will use this time to be with his family and say his final goodbye to his son, who drowned in Virginia Key Beach, saving the lives of others.

It's a bittersweet embrace between Burgos and his wife, Maria. They lost their son in a tragic drowning in late September.

"It's sad. It's hard. He died a hero," Burgos said. 

Since Cristian Burgos' death, the 17-year-old's father has been trying to travel to Miami from Managua, Nicaragua, to be with his family, but the journey hasn't been easy. He was denied a tourist visa, unable to make the memorial at Booker T. Washington Senior High School, the vigil outside the family's home in Little Havana and missed his son's burial. Through the help of local leaders and government officials, he was ultimately granted a humanitarian visa, which allowed him to by his wife's side.

"Whenever you are able to help somebody, it is a sense of accomplishment, but under these circumstances, it is certainly bitter because he now only has the opportunity to come to this country for five days to say goodby to his son," Mayor Francis Suarez said.  

Christian died after saving a mother and son from rough surf. He died after two days in a hospital.

"Me siento. I feel like I raised a good son, educated, who I always taught to help others," Misael Burgos said. "In one way, I feel very proud, and in another way, devastated, because I no longer have him with me."

Misael Burgos said he has already hired an attorney with hopes of having the stay extended.


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