MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Emotional moments Friday night as the father of a teenager who died saving two strangers from drowning was welcomed into South Florida.
Family members rushed to the exit doors of the international arrival gate at Miami International Airport to meet Cristian Burgos’ father.
Misael Burgos is in Miami on humanitarian visa to lend support to his family, who lost a hero in Cristian.
It was on September 30th, that the 17-year-old jumped into the ocean to save a mother and her 9-year-old son.
While he saved the two, Cristian was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died two days later.
There were public memorials and family gatherings in the days after.
But Misael couldn’t attend any of them. He was stuck in Nicaragua, having been deported after his visa expired.
After missing his son’s funeral, public officials mounted a campaign to get Misael back to Miami.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez appealed to the federal government to issue a humanitarian visa, and it worked.
Tearful and a bit overwhelmed, Misael thanked those who made the five day visit possible.
He also explained how proud he was of his son and grateful for what people have done for him.
Still, he was devastated by the loss of Cristian and that his wife had endured her son’s death alone.
His visit is short but he will make the most of it. He’ll meet friends, relatives and supporters. He may even make a possible visit to Virginia Key, the scene of his son’s unselfish, heroic act that saved two lives.