An alert father in Colorado was able to save his son’s life after he recognized the same symptoms of Frankie Delgado, the 4-year-old who died from ‘dry drowning’ last week in Texas.
Garon Vega noticed that his son Gio had trouble breathing and was running a fever after a swimming trip according to KTRK.
Gio was rushed to the hospital after Vega's wife told him about an article she had read about 4-year-old Frankie's death earlier in the week.
Vega told KTRK that the doctor told him that Gio would not have survived the night if he had not brought him in.
Vega credited Frankie Delgado’s parents in an interview with KTRK.
"I feel like I needed to reach out to the parents of little Frankie and tell them, I don't know how to word it, but their little boy saved our little boy's life. There was a purpose. It was an unfortunate thing that happened, but if I had not told my wife that he swallowed the water, and if she had not seen that article, I think we would've ended up dispelling it as a regular sickness."
Doctors found fluid in Frankie’s lungs and around his heart, which they confirmed to be the result of ‘dry drowning.”
What is ‘dry drowning?’
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 if 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 the 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.
Read more about the symptoms “dry drowning” and how to prevent it here.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.