Busted singer’s warning to parents after son rushed to hospital with ‘secondary drowning’


Busted star Charlie Simpson’s son was taken to hospital after suffering from “secondary drowning” on a family holiday.

Jago, four, had been swimming underwater in the hotel pool when he came up “spluttering and coughing”.

He seemed to recover but after dinner became “lethargic” and then began vomiting.

After speaking with a doctor Simpson, 37, said his son was diagnosed with food poisoning and they were advised to put him to bed.

“Before the doctor left, I suddenly remembered Jago coughing in the pool that morning and I remembered reading about a condition called secondary drowning, so I relayed it to the doctor.

“After hearing this, his demeanour changed and he told us to go to A&E straight away.”

The musician said it took them an hour to travel to hospital, during which time Jago’s condition deteriorated.

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“He seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness,” Simpson said.

“He was rushed through to have CT scans and X-Rays and to our absolute horror, we were told that he had water in his lungs and was minutes away from pneumonia.”

Busted’s Charlie Simpson with his wife Anna and their two sons. Pic: @charliesimpson/Instagram

Three days in hospital


Simpson said: “Jago was diagnosed with secondary drowning.

“He spent the next three days in hospital and I’m so thankful for the amazing care he received. It was the worst thing we have ever experienced.

“The scariest thing of all, is that had we not taken him to hospital when we did, the outcome could have been very different.”

The father of two revealed the incident on his Instagram page “in the hope that if it helps just one person avoid a similar situation, it will be worth it”.

Secondary or dry drowning occurs when a child inhales water while swimming, which causes the vocal chords to spasm and contract.

Winners of Best Pop Act, British band Busted, (L-R) James Bourne, Charlie Simpson and Mattie Jay, arrive at the Brit Awards in London, February 17, 2004. REUTERS/David Bebber DB/MD/CRB
Simpson (middle) with Busted’s James Bourne and Mattie Jay back in 2004 after winning a Best Pop Act award


It is rare but can be fatal as it can cause pneumonia.

Simpson said he wanted to raise awareness as when Jago coughed after being underwater it was “nothing seemingly unusual for kids to experience”.

He added: “He seemed fine and happy and was completely normal for the rest of the day.”

The singer left Busted in 2005 to join rock group Fightstar.


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