A Texas 4-year-old drown nearly a week after the last time he went swimming, and now his parents are trying to prevent other children from suffering the same fate.
Francisco Delgado III enjoyed his Memorial Day weekend by taking a swim with his family at the Texas City Dike — days later, the Delgados realized something was wrong with their son, KHOU-TV reported.
The 4-year-old was experiencing symptoms of a stomach bug, including vomiting and diarrhea for several days. After about a week, he stopped breathing.
“Out of nowhere he just woke up. He said ahhhh,” his father, Francisco Delgado Jr., told KTRK. “He took his last breath and I didn’t know what to do no more.”
Francisco died Saturday at East Houston regional hospital.
While his official cause of death is still pending, doctors told his parents their son had fluid in his lungs and around his heart. They said he died from an uncommon condition some officials call “dry drowning.”
Unlike deaths that happen in the water, dry drowning can occur anywhere from hours to days after a person inhales fluid — it typically manifests in young children.
Tara Delgado, through tears, recalled how her son was “full of life” and said “for four years old, he had a big heart.”
Some doctors avoid calling it “dry drowning” however, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t differentiate between “wet” and “dry” drowning. Drowning is defined as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid,” according to the CDC website.
The Delgados are now urging other parents to keep an eye out for their children, even after they’ve left the water and the swimsuit comes off.
Some symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent coughing, sleepiness and fatigue, and vomiting.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs and intend to host a benefit at Texas Twister on June 17.