When Staff Sgt. Garon Vega watched a news segment about 4-year-old Frankie Delgado's death, there was no way he could realize the significance of that moment.
Only one week later, his own 2-year-old son, Gio, would nearly lose his own life to dry-drowning, a condition in which inhaled water fails to reach the lungs, causing the vocal cords to tighten and shut down the airway, the Daily Mail reports.
This is what doctors believe killed Frankie six days after he inhaled water while swimming.
In a sad and strange twist of fate, it was that exact news story which would save young Gio's life.
His father explains when he saw Gio's symptoms, which included a fever and labored breathing, he immediately recalled Frankie's story.
Acting quickly, Vega took his son to the hospital. A doctor later revealed the boy was indeed suffering from dry drowning -- and if he hadn't arrived at that moment, he may have died that night.
Vega has since expressed his immense gratitude to Frankie's parents for discussing their son's symptoms on the news, KTRK reports.
"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," said Vega. "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."
In the original news segment, Francisco Jr. and Tara Delgado recalled how their son complained of an upset stomach shortly after leaving the pool. Over the next week, he experienced diarrhea and vomiting, followed by shoulder pain.
One morning, the boy reportedly woke up in severe pain.
"Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said, "Ahhh,"' his father said, reports KTRK. "He took his last breath, and I didn’t know what to do no more."
By the time they rushed the boy to the hospital, it was too late.
"I walked in," recalled his mother. "I could see him lying there. They were still working on him. I'm screaming. Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama's touch. When she came in, she told us it's what's called dry drowning. His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him."