Texas parents warn of 'dry drowning' dangers after 4-year-old son dies

Doctors say Francisco Delgado, 4, died from 'dry drowning'


TEXAS CITY (KTRK) – A Texas City family is speaking out after they lost their child to suspected "dry drowning."

Francisco Delgado, 4, filled his lungs with fluid while swimming and died the next day.

"He touched so many hearts," Tara Delgado, Frankie's mother, said. "If you didn't know baby Frankie, you would by the time he left. You would know him because he was going to impact your heart."

His family took him swimming at the Texas City Dike over Memorial Day Weekend. A day later "Frankie" complained about stomach issues and diarrhea. 

To his parents, baby Frankie was a normal child experiencing an upset stomach. Frankie seemed to get better until Saturday morning when he complained about his shoulders hurting.




"Out of nowhere he just woke up and he said 'ahhhh' and he took his last breath," Frankie's dad, Fancisco Delgado Jr., said. "I didn't know what to do no more."

Paramedics rushed the child to East Houston Regional hospital.

"I walked in, I could see him lying there," Frankie's mom said. "They were still working on him. I'm screaming 'Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama's touch.'"

Frankie passed away shortly after and his parents still don't know exactly why.

"When she came in, she told us it's what's called dry drowning," Frankie's mother Tara said. "His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him."

Family believes Frankie swallowed water during the holiday celebration.

"Don't take anything for granted - if someone doesn't feel good enough, if he has diarrhea, take him to the doctor," Frankie's dad said. "Tell him to find out what's really wrong, I didn't know what was wrong with him, I thought it was just normal."

Frankie's funeral services are scheduled for this Saturday.

One doctor says children can die from drowning hours after the contact with water - sometimes without showing symptoms at first.


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