Teenager Who Died Saving His Family From House Fire Will Donate His Organs

Photo: GoFundMe
Xaven Garcia

17-year-old Xaven Garcia died days after saving his dad from a house fire that occurred late at night on November 13.

His father, Phil Garcia, had woken up that night to his son screaming his name as their home slowly filled with smoke and flames.

Xaven had helped his father outside as they both hurried to put the flames out using a garden hose, but the smoke remained.

It was then that Phil told his son to stay outside after thinking his daughter was still inside the house, not remembering that she was still at work.

Once the father went back inside the house, he collapsed, unable to breathe through the thick smoke, and had to break a window to get back outside.

Once he was back outside of the house, Phil noticed that Xaven was gone.

Xaven Garcia died trying to save his family from the blaze.

A neighbor informed Phil that his son had run back inside to presumably look for him, his sister, or their two pets. 

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Once firefighters arrived, Phil watched as they pulled his son from the home. He believes Xaven may have thought his sister had returned home from her night shift.

Xaven Garcia, who was a senior at Valley High School, is continuing his heroic actions as his heart, spleen, and liver, and kidneys are now going to be used for people on organ transplant lists across the country.

“He’s helping people out somewhere else. You know? Because that’s what he wanted to do,” Phil Garcia told the Albuquerque Journal. “He’s going to be saving up to eight people’s lives.” 

The fire had broken out in their single-story home around 11 p.m. Sunday night, and firefighters responded to the call around midnight.

Upon entering the home, they found Xaven and rushed him to the hospital with “minimal smoke-inhalation injuries.”

“They think that he died pretty much instantly because the black soot filled his lungs and killed him instantly,” he said. “There were no signs of him struggling or suffering in any way, shape or form.”

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Garcia said the hospital had tried their hardest to keep his son alive, hoping for any brain activity, but it was too late.

After ensuring that his organs could be harvested, Xaven Garcia was pronounced dead around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Garcia revealed that a day before the fire his son had asked about becoming an organ donor.

He had looked at his father’s ID and asked what the heart symbol on it had meant, and after explaining that it signified being an organ donor, Xaven became interested.

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“He goes, ‘I want to do that. That sounds awesome.’ And that kind of freaked me out because you don’t hear that from a 17-year-old boy,” he said. “I’m like, ‘You know what, that’d be awesome. If you did that, you’d be a hero.’ He goes, ‘Just like you. I want to be a hero, like you.’”

However, Garcia found out that his son had agreed to become an organ donor months earlier, when he had gotten his learner’s permit.

“When he sees somebody that needs what he has, he gives it to him, he won’t even hesitate,” Garcia said. “He has a heart of gold … he just wanted to see the world in a better place.”

A GoFundMe was started for Xaven Garcia's funeral.

His grandmother, Susan Garcia, established the fund.

“He’s a living hero. You know, he literally saved my life. And I will do whatever it takes to get his name known and what he did in a positive way,” his father said. “I want his death to be of meaning, to help people out who need help.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.