ABQ teen honored with posthumous ‘Youth Hero Award’ for saving father from house fire
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A young man who died in a house fire trying to save his family last year was honored Sunday. Xaven Garcia was named an American Legion Youth Hero.
“That is why we are here today to honor this young man,” said Teressa Montoya with the American Legion.
Garcia’s family was presented with the Youth Hero Award.
“This is an unbelievable award I can’t even express how I feel, he was a very unique child young man and he is very missed,” said Phil Garcia, Xaven’s father.
Xaven died of smoke inhalation in November after he ran back into their house, as it was on fire, to save his father. After tragically losing their son – they aren’t taking their lives for granted.
“Getting up every morning saying, ‘thank you God’ every day and keep on going it’s all we can do,” said Phil.
The Garcia’s say they taught their son to give back to the community, even in death he is doing just that – as an organ donor.
“His heart spleen liver and kidney are being sent across the country being used to save lives,” said Montoya.
His family says they are keeping track of where their son is going next.
“Two were in Arizona, one lady got his corneas in California. Another young gentleman, 17, same age, got his liver and a gentleman in Colorado who is 47, and he has my son’s heart and no rejections whatsoever from nobody,” said Phil.
While his loss is still hard on the family, they are comforted that parts of Xaven live on.
“It’s amazing he’s still out there, he’s still giving, he’s still giving. It’s hard, but he’s still giving,” Phil said.
Now it’s their goal to keep on giving, just like their son.
“We are going through hell, but I know we will get through it, and it’s always good to give no matter what it’s what we are here for.”