Texas Boy, 4, Dies From ‘Dry Drowning’ One Week After Family Swim Trip

A Texas couple are slowly coming to terms with the loss of their young son following a rare but fatal case of a malady known as “dry drowning,” according to writers of the Daily Mail.

Harrison County native Francisco Delgado Jr. reportedly took his family, including 4-year-old Francisco III or “Baby Frankie,” on a swim-themed trip to the Texas City Dike near Galveston over Memorial Day weekend for a bit of a fun in the sun, until the littlest Delgado suddenly fell ill.

“Francisco Jr. and Tara said the boy started to complain of stomach pains shortly after getting out of the water,” the Daily Mail explains, “but they figured he just had a regular bug.”

After a near week-long spell of diarrhea and vomiting, the Delgados say that baby Frankie appeared to be on the mend and began to show signs of his normal self but, just as quickly, made a turn for the absolute worst on the morning of Saturday, June 3.

“Out of nowhere, he just woke up [in pain], saying ‘ahhh,'” Frankie’s father relayed to ABC-11.

“He took his last breath, and I didn’t know what to do no more.”

Baby Frankie would later be pronounced dead by doctors at a nearby hospital as a result of his lungs being clogged with water that settled inside of them, supposedly from the Texas City Dike, which effectively “drowned” him long after the Delgados drove home from the outing.

“Dry drowning happens when someone [young] breathes water in,” the Mail further explains of the Texas boy’s cause of death.

“The water never reaches the lungs, but it causes the vocal chords to spasm and tighten, eventually shutting down the airway.”

Incidentally, a similar illness known as “secondary drowning,” which also happens when water enters the lungs, exudes the same range of symptoms as dry drowning, including chest pain, fatigue, breathing troubles, and vomiting, but the onset of its symptoms doesn’t occur immediately.

As both are often confused with the common stomach flu or bug, however, most cases are rarely reported to medical officials.

A heartbroken Ms. Delgado went on to recall the moment she learned that her little boy had departed this Earth with ABC-11.

texas dry drowning
The parents of Texas toddler Francisco Delgado Jr. say the 4-year-old died from "dry drowning" a week after he and the family visited the Texas City Dike, seen here. [Image by Houston-media/Wikimedia Commons | ]

“I walked in [the hospital room and] I could see him lying there,” she stated.

“They were still working on him [and I was] screaming, ‘let me just touch my baby,” Ms. Delgado continued.

“Maybe he needs his mama’s touch.”

After returning to her husband outside, Ms. Delgado informed Francisco that their worst fears about Baby Frankie had been confirmed by the medical workers.

“When she came in, she told us it’s what’s called dry drowning,” the father remarked.

“His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him.”

To help cover Baby Frankie’s funeral expenses, the Delgados have taken to GoFundMe to implore the public for assistance in raising enough money to lay the child to rest with the dignity he deserves.

“There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are over the passing of Baby Frankie,” their profile reads.

“He was only 4 years old, he had so much life to live. He was loved by so many people [and] his love for baseball was endless. The world [has] lost a beautiful soul.”

As of this posting, Mr. and Mrs. Delgado have raised more than $14,000.

Funeral services for the Texas dry drowning victim are set to take place this coming Saturday, June 10. No word if the public will be allowed to pay their respects to Baby Frankie and his family during the service.

[Featured Image by jurgenfr/iStock]