They Both Swallowed Pool Water. Only One Survived. Know the Signs of ‘Dry Drowning.’

The summer months have arrived! School is out, the pools are open and parents everywhere are finding ways to keep their kiddos out of the house, and making memories.

Of course, it’s not all fun in the sun when it comes to keeping our children safe.

A Colorado dad is thanking a family from Houston, Texas, this week after their warning to parents saved his 2-year-old son’s life.

After taking his son Gio to the community pool, Garon Vega said the toddler came home with a headache that later turned into a fever and a cough.


It’s not uncommon for young kids to catch a virus after swimming in a public pool, but Garon felt this might be something more.

“I’m noticing his heart is beating really fast, so noticeably that I can feel it when he’s laying against my body,” Garon said.

He was researching his son’s symptoms online when he came across a story about Frankie Delgado. The 4-year-old from Houston, Texas, passed away Memorial Day weekend after having inhaled some water while swimming with family.

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Doctors suspect Frankie was a victim of secondary-drowning. The out-of-water drowning condition happens when someone inhales water that becomes trapped inside of their lungs. It can take up to 24 hours after exiting the water before signs of distress appear.

Secondary-drowning can happen in any body of water—including the bathtub. It generally happens in children, but cases have been seen among adults.

After seeing Frankie’s story, Garon rushed Gio to the emergency room where doctors determined the boy was in fact drowning.

“The X-rays did show he had a significant amount of water in his lungs, and it was a good thing that we brought him in because if we hadn’t, he wouldn’t have made it through the night,” Garon explained.

The Delgados are suffering an unimaginable loss, but it’s their bravery and willingness to share Frankie’s story that wound up saving Gio’s life!


Doctors say that secondary-drowning as well as dry-drowning (which occurs when water is inhaled through the nose or mouth and creates a spasm in the airway—causing it to close up) are both very rare. There’s no specific data regarding how many children die from the out-of-water incidents each year, but experts say they only account for 1 to 2 percent of all drowning cases.

Even so, it can happen easier than you think. Parents should be on the lookout for coughing, trouble breathing, chest pain, vomiting and fatigue both shortly after a child exits the pool, and in the days that follow. Frankie died a full week after he went swimming with family. Err on the side of caution, and keep an eye out for unusual symptoms in your kiddos this summer. It could wind up saving their life.

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Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.