ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque teenager who gave his life to save his family from a house fire made one final sacrifice. At the request of his family, KRQE News 13 was there on his last trip.
“He’s a hero to all of us:” Albuquerque teenager dies saving family from house fire
When 17-year-old Xaven Garcia’s immediate family helped escort him to the operating room at UNM hospital to donate his organs, where hospital staff lined the hallways, friends and other relatives stood outside to say goodbye. KRQE News 13 must warn you, the above footage is extremely personal, but his family has requested that it be shared so the community can see his courage and possibly be inspired to sign up as a donor as well.
“My son brought a lot of people together today,” said Amalia Torres, one of Garcia’s mothers. “He brought many families together.”
With every step in the hospital filled with honor and sorrow, friends and relatives gathered outside to say goodbye to Garcia and to see him one last time. The Valley High School student died this week after running into a burning house to save his family. Now the teenager’s last wish to donate his organs has been granted.
“I believe in miracles,” said Gabriel Lovato, one of Garcia’s grandfathers. “A miracle happened tonight.”
As painful as going to the operating room was, his family says they couldn’t be more proud. “It gives your family a sense of peace when you know you are saving another life,” said Stacey Garcia, one of Garcia’s mothers.
New Mexico Donor Services says Garcia’s organs and tissues will save many people of all ages and from everywhere. His parents hope that with this second chance the recipients will enjoy their lives to the fullest.
“I just hope that those who will get my son’s organs will truly appreciate every moment of their lives because he gave his for them,” said Phil Garcia, one of Garcia’s fathers. “Just be blessed. They are so blessed to have what they get. It’s a miracle for them. “
Through his childhood memories, favorite hobbies, and love for family, loved ones hope to continue Garcia’s legacy. Most of all, they will be grateful to their Guardian Angel.
While the exact recipients are unknown, Garcia’s heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, and other tissues are likely used to save up to eight lives. His family hopes this will inspire others to become donors too.
After an event at the school on Friday afternoon, Garcia’s family and friends from Valley High School will be heading to Los Duranes Park for a candlelit vigil. The family says the public is invited. A GoFundMe account was also set up to support funeral expenses and house repairs after the fire.