Cassandra Jackson watched her 10-year-old son Johnny splash around in their South Carolina neighborhood pool, beneath the blistering sun. It seemed like an ordinary summer day. She had no idea it was one that would change her life forever.
After an hour of getting out of the pool and walking home, Johnny told his mother he was sleepy, something Cassandra didn’t find unusual considering he was out playing all afternoon. There was no immediate sign that anything was wrong, let alone, he was slowly drowning. Johnny took a nap and when Cassandra checked on him later, she found his face covered in a foam-like substance. He had no signs of life. When they rushed his lifeless body to the hospital, coroners declared his cause of death was “Asphyxiation by Drowning.”
4th-grader Johnny Jackson had his first and last swim on June 5th, 2008 and dry-drowned by swallowing too much pool water.
“I’ve never known a child could walk around, talk, speak, and their lungs be filled with water,” Cassandra told NBC in a heartbreaking interview.
A delayed, or dry-drowning is rare but not unheard of. Dry-drowning signs can be anything from sleepiness to a bloated tummy. In an interview on the Today show, pediatrician Dr. Daniel Rauch says that the salt or fresh water damages the lining of the lungs and prevents oxygen from going into the blood and carbon dioxide from going out of the blood. This can also happen to a child in the bathtub.
Cassandra Jackson was unaware of dry-drowning before her “little man” passed away from it, but her tragic story could save your child’s life.