Teen Who Died Rescuing His Family From Fire, Saves 8 More Lives As Organ Donor: "He's A Hero"

Teen Who Died Rescuing His Family From Fire, Saves 8 More Lives As Organ Donor: "He's A Hero"

Xaven Garcia initally escaped the burning home but ran back into the building to get his father and sister.

Xaven Garcia, 17, died saving his family when a fire broke out in their home on November 14. The high school senior from Albuquerque has now given life to eight other people, thanks to his status as an organ donor. Xaven Garcia ran after his father, Phil, when the fire broke out and died as smoke filled his lungs. "He's a hero to all of us," said his father. Xaven Garcia and Phil had slept on the couch after watching football but later, Phil woke up and headed to his own bed. Phil was sleeping in his bed when his son, Xaven, came rushing to wake him, informing him that the house was on fire and they needed to get out. "I was kind of in a daze, I couldn't really wake up. So, he literally grabbed me and started pulling me out the house," he recalled, reported The Albuquerque Journal


The pair had made it out safely but Phil wanted to head back in to save Xaven's sister. He had forgotten that she was still at work. Phil ran into the home, telling the teenager to not follow him into the burning building. Xaven feared his father had collapsed, and ran in to help his father, and his sister. The smoke proved too much for Xaven. "He probably ran in to go grab me again. And the smoke overtook him," said Phil. "They think that he died pretty much instantly because the black soot filled his lungs and killed him instantly. There were no signs of him struggling or suffering in any way, shape, or form." A space heater caught fire, before spreading to the rest of the home. Albuquerque Fire Rescue spokesman Tom Ruiz said they were "looking into the matter," but confirmed the blaze was accidental in nature. 



Xaven was kept on life support after the accident before his organs were donated. Phil recalls his son asking to be registered as an organ donor. "We were watching something on TV and I was pulling something out of my wallet, and I've got nimble fingers, dropped it, and my license popped out," Phil told KOB. Xaven noticed the heart symbol on his ID and asked him about it. "I told him it was for, to be an organ donor if something tragic happened. And he just looked at me and goes, 'I'm gonna get that done,'" Phil recalled. Xaven's stepmom Stacey says it's comforting to know that Xaven is saving more people's lives. "It makes your family feel at peace knowing you're saving another life," said his stepmom Stacey, reported People. The family has been informed that Xaven's spleen, kidneys, and other tissues could be used to help save others' lives. 

Xaven Garcia/GoFundMe


The medical staff at UNM hospital turned up in numbers to participate in a special honor walk to honor Xaven prior to his donation. "We've never even heard of anything like this, but to see all the doctors, the administration, the nurses, the whole entire wing of the ICU department, it seemed like the whole entire hospital was there," said his father Phil. "It's an amazing, amazing thing. I just hope that whoever the participants are that get my son's organs, that they really cherish every moment of life."


Xaven's stepmom Stacey said he had called her an hour before the fire. "The last words were, 'I love you, Mom,'" recalled Stacey. He was into skateboarding, computers, and loved his family dearly. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help fund his funeral. "He was the sweetest kind-hearted respectful young man. He attended Mountainair high school and was an altar boy at Mountainair Catholic Church. He loved video games and wanted to be a designer," wrote his grandmother, Susan Garcia.