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Momma I Want To Lie Down . . .

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Cassandra Jackson will never forget her son’s last words. After swimming for about 45 minutes in a neighboring apartment complex pool, Johnny returned home disoriented, sluggish, drowsy, and asked his mother if he could take a nap.

An hour later—Johnny was dead.

“I feel like someone reached in and grabbed my heart and just yanked it out,” Ms. Jackson said.

Ms. Jackson stated when she found her son, Johnny had foam and water coming out of his nose, his body was limp and he couldn’t breathe.

Although Johnny had been wearing arm floatation devices, he still managed to ingest a lot of water, which led to his death by asphyxiation.

There were signs that indicated something was wrong with Johnny, but none of them apparent to Ms. Jackson and perhaps it would have been the same with other parents as well, unaware of the symptoms of dry drowning.

“The term sounds so contradictory—drown and dry,” said Dr. Harold Laski.

Dr. Laski went on to say dry drowning is not as uncommon as people might think. 15 percent of deaths attributed to drowning occur when the victim is not in the water.

 “You don’t even need much water,” Dr. Laski concluded. “Just a little bit of water that hits the flap that opens and closes to allow you to either breathe or eat.”

In the case of 10-year-old Johnny, he had gone swimming and it wasn’t until hours later that his symptoms started to appear. His mother said, he had soiled himself, started walking slowly and was drowsy.

“Johnny went to take a nap,” Ms. Jackson said, “and an hour later he died.”

Perhaps the only consolation for Ms. Jackson . . . is that Johnny’ death will help to educate the public on the symptoms of dry drowning.

Three important signs that parents should watch for: difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness, and behavioral changes. All of these symptoms are a result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain.

Victims can be treated quickly in an emergency room, but for Cassandra Jackson’s son Johnny, public awareness on the dangers of dry drowning has come too late.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author



One Response

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  1. I wish to make a donation to Cassandra Jackson. Where will I mail it?

    Raymond V. Crinzi

    June 17, 2008 at 1:21 am

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