Albuquerque teen given ‘honor walk’ to donate organs after dying in house fire

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque teen 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 for his final journey.

As 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 halls, friends and other relatives stood outside to say their goodbyes. KRQE News 13 must warn you, the footage above is extremely personal, but his family asked for it to be shared so the community will know of his bravery and possibly be inspired to also sign up as donors.

“My son brought together a lot of people today,” said Amalia Torres, one of Garcia’s moms. “He brought together a lot of family.”

As every step inside the hospital was filled with honor and heartache, outside, friends and relatives gathered for their own goodbyes to Garcia and to see him one last time. The Valley High School student died this week after running back into a burning home to save his family. Now, the teen’s final wish to donate his organs was granted.

“I believe in miracles,” said Gabriel Lovato, one of Garcia’s grandfathers. “A miracle has taken place tonight.”

As painful as it was to make that walk to the OR, his family says they couldn’t be more proud. “It makes your family feel at peace knowing you’re saving another life,” said Stacey Garcia, one of Garcia’s moms.


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New Mexico Donor Services says Garcia’s organs and tissues will save many of all ages and from all over. His parents hope the recipients will live their lives to the fullest with this second chance.

“I just hope that whoever the participants are that get my son’s organs, that they really cherish every moment of life they have because he gave his for them,” said Phil Garcia, one of Garcia’s dads. “Just be blessed. They are so blessed to have what they’re getting. It’s a miracle for them.”

Living on through childhood memories, his favorite hobbies, and his love of family, loved ones hope to carry Garcia’s legacy forward. Most of all, they will hold tight to gratitude for their guardian angel.

While the exact recipients are unknown, it’s likely Garcia’s heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, and other tissues will be used to save up to eight lives. His family hopes this will inspire others to also become donors.

Following an event at school on Friday afternoon, Garcia’s family and friends will walk from Valley High School to Los Duranes Park for a candlelight vigil. The family says the public is invited. A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help with funeral expenses and repairing the home following the fire.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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