Aspiring doctor left brain dead after friends pushed him into lake knowing he can't swim

Monday, May 6, 2024 - An aspiring medical student was left brain-dead last month when his friends pushed him into a Louisiana lake knowing he couldn’t swim, and then looked on while doing nothing to save the drowning man.

Shocking video shows the group casually staring into the water moments after they shoved Christopher Gilbert off the dock at Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville on April 14.

At least one woman can be seen slowly entering the water before abandoning the rescue mission.

10 minutes passed before a patron at a nearby restaurant intervened and yanked Gilbert back to land.

The 26-year-old was brain dead and the rest of his organs were starting to fail by the time he arrived at a local hospital, his mother Yolanda George told KSLA.

He spent 72 hours on a ventilator and an ECMO machine, which George described as “dialysis for the lungs.”

“I was devastated. I felt like my life had ended at that moment. My son is aspiring to be a medical doctor, my son is going to be a medical doctor. He got his masters last year in biological science. He’s preparing for medical school so for this to have happened to him … I was just devastated,” George said.

According to police, his so-called friends initially tried to pass off the near-death as “horse-play.”

They even told the lie to his mother in the moments after he was rescued.

"A friend of his called and she was hysterical crying. She told me that Chris has fell into the lake and he had been underwater for 10 minutes or so,” the mother said.

Eventually, a white female around the same age as Gilbert admitted to pushing him into the lake.

None of the friends, however, admitted to knowing he couldn’t swim — a claim Gilbert’s family finds hard to believe.

“To add insult to injury, after pushing him, no one from the ‘friend group’ attempted to go in after him. Instead, two brave bystanders, who have no relationship to Chris, heard commotion and retrieved his body from the lake,” personal injury attorney Claudia Payne, representing George, wrote in a report obtained by the Lincoln Parish Journal.

Fortunately, Gilbert has made strides since the ruthless attack. He is responding cognitively, but cannot speak, according to George.

He still relies on life support and his lungs are said to be at 20% capacity.

The family is also demanding that an arrest be made in the tragic incident, with Payne saying the friends displayed criminal intent by pushing him into the lake.

“Why would you push my son in the lake knowing he couldn’t swim?” asked George.

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