SAN ANTONIO – Christian Torres will never forget the embrace between his father and uncle, hours before his uncle said goodbye to his two sons, who drowned while on vacation in Corpus Christi.
"It wasn't my uncle talking to my dad, it was my uncle talking to his little brother asking him for help and for guidance," said Torres.
Late Sunday, Christian's 14-year-old cousin Eric Torres passed away and hours later was followed by Eric's 10-year-old brother, Adrian. The boys, originally from Guadalajara, were on a family trip as a reward for successful school years. His aunt and uncle returned to San Antonio on Monday and have been visited nearly non-stop by friends and teachers of both boys.
"Every day, every hour, they're constantly being reminded of what happened," he said.
Torres said he wanted to do something to help and created a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs and hospital bills that have surpassed six figures.
"I quickly realized that this wasn't about us, this was about people wanting to help us," he said.
He started with what he felt was a lofty goal of $2,000, which was reached in just two hours.
"It's been beyond amazing and something we never really dreamed of," he said. "In my mindset, the quicker we get it paid off, they don't have to see the reminder every month of having to pay for something that was so tragic."
As of Thursday evening, the fund had eclipsed $20,000. Christian plans one more fundraising effort on Friday with a concert at Jack's Patio Bar starting at 8 p.m. His younger cousins had seen some of his performances online but never got to see him perform live.
"A great way for me to show my goodbyes to them because I know they were definitely interested in seeing me play and hopefully they're there," he said.
Most of the funds will help with funeral expenses, as well as transporting the boys' bodies from Corpus Christi to San Antonio for a viewing and then to Guadalajara, where they will be buried. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.