Cassandra Jackson and her 10-year-old son Johnny had a fun day planned: they'd enjoy the warm summer day at a swimming pool near their home.
After hours of playing and bathing, it was time to go home.
But that's when Johnny began to feel ill. He told his mom that he felt sleepy. She didn’t take any direct action then - assuming, naturally, that it was perfectly normal after a day in the water and in the sun. Johnny simply went to his room to rest.
An hour later, Cassandra went to check in on him. That's when she discovered his mouth covered in foam - and that he had stopped breathing, NBC reports.
Cassandra rushed Johnny to a hospital, but it was too late. Johnny didn’t survive. When doctors examined him, they determined asphyxiation by drowning as cause of death. Cassandra was shocked and didn’t understand how this could have happened.
This unusual phenomenon is called late or dry drowning, and can occur up to 72 hours after taking a bath or swallowing water. It can happen to both children and adults, although children are more exposed to the risk.
Dry drowning damages the lining of the lungs and hinders their essential function: bringing oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out of the blood. The terrifying part is that the effect can be delayed and end up with choking.
“I never knew that a child could walk around and talk with their lungs filled with water,” Cassandra told Todaysshow.com.
“He was a very loving boy. Full of life. He was my little man.”
If you recognize these symptoms and immediately see a doctor, lives can be saved. Doctors foremost recommendation is to keep an eye on three symptoms that can indicate that the brain is not getting enough oxygen: difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness, and changes in behavior, such as if the child is unusually cranky or combative.
This tragic event broke my heart. No parent should have to experience such a terrible fate. That’s why it is so important that every parent read this. Especially now with the hot months ahead.
Together, we can help spread the word to reduce the risk of this happening to more children. If just one share saves a life, it is well worth it.
Watch this news clip about the tragic accident: