LITTLE HAVANA (CBSMiami) — Family and friends of the 17-year-old man who rescued a mother and son from the waters of Virginia Key beach celebrated his life Sunday night.

A crowd of about 50 people gathered outside a home in east little Havana to memorialize Cristian Burgos.

Green vines and white roses adorned the front of their family home.

Burgos died on Wednesday, two days after rescuing a mother and her 9-year-old son who were taken by the current at Virginia Key Beach.

Burgos went under and was later rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Cristians mother, Maria Avendano collapsed in the arms of family.

She said, “It feels like a loneliness without my son.”

His cousins broke down while they talked about Cristian.

“We didn’t expect this at all. We’ve been praying to God,” said Lidia Zamora.

His other cousin Katherine said, “We lost a member you know? He was part of us. We grew up with him. I grew up with him, it’s so hard, especially because he was so young.”

Burgos father, who wants to be here for his son’s funeral, lives in Nicaragua.

He was denied a tourist visa due to his criminal background.

The family is in the process of applying for a humanitarian visa.

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