Sebastian woman, 62, critical after near drowning in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH — A 62-year-old Sebastian woman is in critical condition at the Indian River Medical Center after nearly drowning in Leisure Square pool, in Vero Beach, at the end of a water aerobics class, according to the Vero Beach Police Department.

Two lifeguards and the water aerobics instructor pulled the Sebastian woman from the pool Monday morning and began CPR until EMS personnel could arrive. With the use of an automatic external defibrillator, emergency workers were able to get a pulse from the woman and transported her to the hospital. Betsy Whisman, a spokeswoman for the medical center, said Wednesday that the woman is still in critical condition.

Water aerobics instructor John Sammartano told officers that the woman had gone to the facility Monday morning to use the gym for a leg strength workout. After the workout, she rested between 10 and 15 minutes before taking part in a 30-minute cardio workout in the pool.

At the end of the session, the woman went under water and did not resurface, Sammartano told police.

A woman who identified herself as a friend said that the Sebastian woman has known heart issues and has two stents. Whether the woman’s heart condition played a role in her near drowning at the pool remains unclear.

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