4-year-old boy dies from apparent ‘dry drowning’ days after going swimming

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TEXAS CITY, Texas — A 4-year-old Texas boy died Saturday, almost a week after going swimming, KTRK reported.

Francisco Delgado III reportedly went swimming at the Texas City Dike over Memorial Day weekend.

His parents told KTRK that “Baby Frankie” had an upset stomach after they went swimming, but they didn’t think it was anything serious.

The boy reportedly had symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea for a few days, but seemed to be improving.

But on Saturday morning, the boy complained that his shoulders were hurting. His father told KTRK the boy woke up suddenly a few hours later and “took his last breath.”

The family called 911, but paramedics and doctors couldn’t save the boy. His mother, Tara Delgado, told KTRK that the doctors called it “dry drowning.”

Dry drowning, which is similar to secondary drowning, can occur hours or days after a child inhales water.

“With dry drowning, water never reaches the lungs. Instead, breathing in water causes your child’s vocal cords to spasm and close up after he’s already left the pool, ocean, or lake. That shuts off his airways, making it hard to breathe,” according to WebMD.

“Secondary drowning happens a little bit differently. Your child’s airways open up, letting water into his lungs, where it builds up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema. The result is the same: trouble breathing.”

Both events are very rare and make up only 1 percent to 2 percent of all drowning incidents, according to Dr. James Orlowski, a pediatrician at Florida Hospital Tampa.

“There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are over the passing of Baby Frankie,” a family member wrote on a GoFundMe page. “He was only 4 years old, he had so much life to live.”

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