4-year-old dies of ‘dry drowning’ nearly a week after swimming

HOUSTON (WSVN) — A Texas family is mourning the loss of their four-year-old boy, who died of “dry drowning” nearly a week after a swimming trip.

According to KTRK, the Delgado family took their son Frankie swimming at the Texas City Dike over Memorial Day weekend.

The boy’s parents said Frankie showed signs of an upset stomach not long after going swimming, but didn’t think much of it. His father, Francisco Delgado Jr., said the boy appeared to be getting better and was still a happy kid.

It wasn’t until the following weekend when Frankie told his dad that his shoulders were hurting him. The boy suddenly woke up hours later wish a gasp.

“Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said ahhh,” Delgado told KTRK. “He took his last breath and I didn’t know what to do no more.”

His mother, Tara, recalled how paramedics and doctors tried to save her little boy.

“I walked in. I could see him lying there. They were still working on him. I’m screaming. Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama’s touch,” she said.

A paramedic broke the news to the distraught mother, telling her what happened to her son.

“When she came in, she told us it’s what’s called dry drowning. His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him.”

Dry drowning occurs after a person inhales water through the mouth or nose and the liquid enters the lungs, Purva Grover, medical director of Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric emergency departments, told USA Today.

The lungs can then become irritated from the water and fill with fluid resulting in respiratory problems, brain damage or even death, according to the paper.

In children, symptoms may start 1 to 2 days after inhaling water, and include coughing, vomiting, fever, and mood swings.

“It’s very unusual for the child to have absolutely no symptoms, but they may go to bed and in the middle of the night have trouble breathing,” Purva told USA Today. “It takes a couple of hours, for the fluid to emerge in the lungs.”

Friends of the Delgado family created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Frankie’s funeral expenses. To donate, click here.

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