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.
It seemed impossible — mom Tara Delgado said he was only in knee-deep water. The parents now suspect Frankie must have swallowed water, but they never noticed Frankie coughing or in distress, which are often crucial indicators that someone has accidentally inhaled a small amount of water through the mouth or nose, causing their airway to spasm. It's a devastating reminder for parents to always keep watch over their children in the pool, as they could possibly miss the warning signs.
"There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are over the passing of Baby Frankie," the family wrote on their GoFundMe page, which is raising money for the unexpected funeral costs. "He had so much life to live."