HOUSTON (KTRK) – A Colorado father thanked a family in Houston for a warning he said saved his son's life.
Last week, 4-year-old Frankie Delgado died after a Memorial Day swimming trip in Texas City. Frankie's family, though overcome by tragedy, has spread a far-reaching message on the dangers of dry drowning, which they suspect took Frankie's life.
That message reached Staff Sgt. Garon Vega and his family all the way in Colorado.
Vega said his family avoided something catastrophic, thanks to the awareness Frankie's family is spreading in his death.
In Colorado, Vega's son Gio became sick after inhaling water at a community pool. First Gio developed a fever, then a cough. Vega became alarmed.
"I'm noticing his heart is beating really fast, so noticeably that I can feel it when he's laying against my body," Vega said.
Vega said he read about Frankie's tragic story and took his son to the emergancy room where doctors informed him his son was, in fact, drowning.
Dry drowning occurs when someone inhales water and the fluid stays in the lungs for hours.
In Frankie's case, the 4-year-old complained of stomach issues and had diarrhea. After nearly a week, Frankie's condition worsened.
"He just woke up, and he said 'ahhhhh' and he took his last breath," Frankie's dad Francisco Delgado Jr. said. "I didn't know what to do no more."
Frankie's story was shared across the nation, eventually getting to Vega.
"The X-rays did show that he had a significant amount of water in his lungs, and that it was a good thing that we brought him in because if we hadn't have, he wouldn't have made it through the night," Vega said.
Vega said he's thankful to the Delgado family for sharing its story, because without it, he fears his son may have died.
"I feel like I needed to reach out to the parents of little Frankie and tell him, I don't know how to word it but, their little boy saved our little boy's life," Vega said. "There was a purpose."
Frankie's autopsy results are still pending. A cause of death has not been determined.
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