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Man suffers heart attack at pool, claims lifeguards failed to notice, sues suburban YMCA

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An Evanston man has filed a lawsuit claiming lifeguards at the Leaning Tower YMCA in Niles failed to notice him unconscious at the bottom of the pool last month.

61-year-old Yosef Bornstein suffered a heart attack in the pool on May 28th and slid underwater.

His attorneys say surveillance video from the pool shows Bornstein was underwater for more than five minutes before another swimmer spotted him, even though there were two lifeguards on duty.

Bornstein had triple bypass surgery and was released from the hospital on Wednesday. His son says there is a long road to recovery ahead and the family is concerned Bornstein might have permanent brain damage.

“It’s really a miracle that my father is alive and he`s able to talk to some extent,” said Elisha Bornstein. “We need to get to the bottom of everything to make sure that nothing like this ever occurs again.”

YMCA released a statement saying:

Our hearts go out to the family of Yosef Bornstein, and we wish him a full and swift recovery. We want to assure all members that their health and safety is of primary importance. That’s why, as is our custom, we promptly started our own fact-finding process after this incident. The lifeguards were immediately put on administrative leave and a disciplinary review is underway. Further, we continually review our policies and procedures to reflect YMCA of the USA best practices, including ongoing review of certification, staffing and procedures, as well as lifeguard training from both YUSA and the American Red Cross.


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