A Colorado boy was saved from dry drowning when his parents recognized the symptoms after reading a story about a Texas boy who died of the condition last week.
Staff Sgt. Garon Vega of Fort Collins, Colorado, said his 2-year-old son, Gio, swallowed water while swimming and then developed a fever and trouble breathing, KTRK-TV reported.
He took the boy to the hospital, where doctors said he likely wouldn't have lived through the night without treatment.
The incident follows the death of 4-year-old Frankie Delgado who died Saturday, six days after swallowing water while swimming in Texas City over Memorial Day weekend. His story quickly spread.
"I feel like I needed to reach out to the parents of little Frankie and tell them, I don't know how to word it, but their little boy saved our little boy's life," Vega said, according to KTRK. "There was a purpose. It was an unfortunate thing that happened, but if I had not told my wife that he swallowed the water, and if she had not seen that article, I think we would've ended up dispelling it as a regular sickness."
Gio swallowed water while playing at a pool on Wednesday. He seemed fine at first, but gradually became sicker, complaining of a headache, KUSA-TV reported.
When his mom Googled his symptoms, she found the story about Frankie.
Dry drowning, also known as secondary drowning, happens when fluid gets in the lungs. Symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, fever, struggling for breath, and mood swings can occur hours or days later.
“This is common in the swimming pool. Kids choke or cough or splatter and the airways will be cleared, but if that persists to any level of breathing discomfort that should warrant attention,” Dr. Ivor Douglas, Chief of Pulmonary Sciences and Clinical Care Medicine at Denver Health, told KUSA.
He said symptoms to watch for include "difficult or noisy breathing, change in the color of lips or fingers, and a change in the child's awareness and responsiveness," the station noted.
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