The grieving parents of a Texas boy are warning parents about the little-known condition of "dry drowning", which took their four-year-old son's life before his parents even knew such a condition existed.
A Texas boy died of "dry drowning" almost a week after he went swimming on a family trip, his family said. Before he passed away, the little boy, Frankie, complained about a stomach ache and diarrhoea, then later complained about pain in his shoulders as well.
If the lung's air passages fill with water, it causes blood oxygen levels to drop and the heart slows down.
"Your child's airways open up, letting water into his lungs, where it builds up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema", WebMD states.
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.
Symptoms of both conditions, which usually affect children, include trouble breathing, persistent coughing, sleepiness, forgetfulness, fatigue and vomiting.
The condition is most common in children due to their small size, Dr. Raymond Pitetti at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh told WebMD.
A Texas City family is speaking out after they lost their child to suspected "dry drowning".
"Out of nowhere he woke up and he said "ah" and he took his last breath", said the boy's father, Frank Delgado, Jr. They could not do anything for him, "says Tara, her mother".
His parents say the four-year-old was briefly knocked over by a wave while playing in shallow water but got back up and kept playing.
Dry or secondary drowning occurs when someone breathes water into his or her lungs.
"Secondary drowning happens a little bit differently".
Without getting a proper treatment from dry drowning, Frankie died in his bed, and his parents found out about the existence of such a thing as dry drowning too late. This causes the vocal cords to spasm and close up, making it very hard for them to breath. "He was loved by so many people ... the world lost a handsome soul".
They also will be holding a benefit at Texas Twister on Saturday, June 17 at 11 a.m.at 2327 McCarty St. Services for Delgado have been set for this Saturday, June 10 at the Compean Funeral Home at 2101 Broadway St. "The world lost a lovely soul", the page read.