A Texas family is devastated after their 4-year-old son unexpectedly died. Unfortunately, a brief investigation would reveal the real reason he passed away – and now, his parents have issued a warning about a very common activity that almost every child enjoys.
The tragic, startling effects of “dry drowning” took the life of a 4-year-old boy in Texas a week after he went swimming.
Francisco Delgado Jr., who took his son Frankie and the rest of his family to the Texas City Dike near Galveston over Memorial Day weekend, told KHOU News that it was a typical day and that Frankie was fine when he got out of the water.
Shortly afterwards, Frankie began to have symptoms that resembled a stomach bug. For days, he had bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, and a week later, he stopped breathing.
“Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said ahhh,” Delgado said. “He took his last breath and I didn’t know what to do.”
He called 911 but doctors weren’t able to revive him. They told the family that Frankie had fluid in his lungs and around his heart — that he died from dry drowning.
“I walked in. I could see him lying there,” Frankie’s mother Tara Delgado, told KTRK. “They were still working on him. I’m screaming. Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama’s touch. When [the doctor] 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.”
Frankie had fluid in his lungs and around his heart, according to WXIN.
Dry drowning happens hours or even days after a person inhales water. Experts say that symptoms include troubled breathing, coughing, sleepiness, fatigue, and vomiting.
Dry drowning happens when water irritates the larynx (vocal chords), and the person has a severe inflammatory reaction to it. The reaction causes the vocal chords to spasm (laryngospasm reflex) and that causes them to close.
The person then has trouble or cannot pass air into their lungs. Laryngospasm can cause something called neurogenic pulmonary edema which causes an increase in pressure in the lungs and heart, reducing the body’s ability to get oxygen. Laryngospasm can be triggered by something as simple as droplets of water hitting the larynx. High-speed submersion, such as when you go down a water slide or jump from a high dive, can also cause a reaction.
Water safety and medical experts are encouraging parents to think of drowning as a process and not an end result of being underwater for too long. The prospect of a child drowning after leaving the pool or beach is one not many parents have considered.
On average, 10 people will die in the United States a day as a result of drowning.
Watch the video report here: KHOU11/Youtube