• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Aspiring doctor left to die in lake by friends makes remarkable recovery, family plans legal action


Christopher Gilbert, an aspiring doctor shoved into a Louisiana lake by friends who claimed to not know he couldn’t swim has made a remarkable recovery — and now his family is planning a legal action over the near-fatal incident.

According to The Post, Gilbert is talking to his family and eating again less than a month after doctors described him as practically “brain dead” and put him on life support machines, according to family attorney Claudia Payne.

The 26-year-old has since been taken off life support, but is still recuperating physically and working on memory loss problems, Payne told The Post.

Gilbert spent about ten straight minutes underwater after a friend allegedly pushed him off a dock at a Farmerville restaurant on April 14 — with the group of friends bafflingly failing to pull him from the lake as he was submerged.

He might have died had it not been for the heroics of Dawson Foust, a 20-something restaurant patron not connected to the group who dove into the water to make a rescue.

Glibert’s family is now planning a civil suit against that restaurant, alleging it failed to properly restrict access to the lake despite serving alcohol.

The restaurant, identified in reports as Rhett’s Tails and Shells, declined to comment when reached by The Post.

His family is also seeking an arrest of the woman who allegedly pushed Gilbert — and thinks cops are letting the friends slide because they are all white and Chris is black.

“Had Chris, a black male, pushed a white female into a lake, he would be arrested,” Payne said, adding that the family doesn’t want any outsized persecution of the woman, but just for the letter of the law to be followed accordingly.

“I’ve defended alleged criminals with less evidence that they’ve made arrests on,” Payne said.

Farmerville Police declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Exactly what happened the day Gilbert ended up in the water remains unclear. Initially, Gilbert’s friends told his mother Yolanda George that her son had fallen in — before allegedly switching up their story and admitting to pushing him during “horseplay.”

Video from the day appears to show the friends standing idly by while Gilbert was in the water.

The friends also allegedly insisted they had no idea Gilbert couldn’t swim — which the family doesn’t buy.

“Everybody knows Chris can’t swim,” his mother told KSLA. “He’s always joking about it.”