Going swimming is supposed to be a fun activity for the whole family, but for a Hispanic family who went swimming over the weekend, that innocent swim had a tragic ending. Frankie Delgado’s 4-year-old son also named Frankie died of a rare condition called “dry drowning” just a week after they went for a swim.
“We’d never heard of [dry drowning]. He had too much water in his lungs and that’s what sent him to Heaven,” Frankie Delgado, tells PEOPLE of his young son, Frankie Delgado III (whom the family calls “Baby Frankie”) following his shocking death. “I love my son so much. My son was my best friend. I played with my son every day. Now I can’t play with him anymore.”
The family of 6 went to the Texas City Dike on Memorial Day weekend and they believe that when a large wave came in and knocked over Frankie, this was the moment when he inhaled too much water. “This is real and this could happen to anyone,” the father tells PEOPLE. “I lost [Frankie] and I’ll never see him again.”
Dry drowning can occur when someone inhales too much water through their nose or mouth, causing it to get into their lungs. When this happens, the excess fluid can cause respiratory problems, brain damage, or even death like in this case.