NBAC swimmer dies after being rushed to hospital

Louis Lowenthal prepared for the Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 15, 2012.

Louis Lowenthal, a Stoneleigh resident and freshman at Towson High School has died after the North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimmer was rushed to the hospital after a Sunday morning swim practice at Meadowbrook Aquatic Center in Mount Washington, a hospital official confirmed Thursday.

LifeBridge Health Communications and Social Media Manager Betsy Haley confirmed his death. Lorrie Dufour, hospital operations coordinator at Sinai, said Lowenthal was pronounced dead Wednesday evening.


"Louis was just a wonderful young man, really intelligent and had a warm smile. I always felt a strong connection with him because of that smile. I always feel that if you start a practice with a smile, everything else will be good, too," said George Kennedy, an Anneslie resident who coaches the Johns Hopkins swim team and the Stoneleigh Sharks.

Details surrounding the Sunday morning incident are scarce.


That night, city fire spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said emergency personnel responded to a call at the pool about 10 a.m. Sunday, and found a lifeguard administering CPR to Louis on the pool deck.

Cartwright said paramedics performed "advanced life support measures" en route to the hospital.

Just before 10:15 p.m. Sunday, as word of the incident began to spread and false reports regarding Louis' condition began surfacing on social media, NBAC Director of Operations John Cadigan sent an email to club member families updating them on the situation.

"A member of our swim team family, Louis Lowenthal, was hospitalized earlier today," Cadigan wrote in the email, which was later forwarded to the Towson Times. "We have been in touch with the Lowenthals who asked that we share with you that Louis is currently in a coma."

Frank Morgan, a Baltimore attorney who represents NBAC, said the organization sends its thoughts and prayers to the family, but citing the family's request for privacy, had no further comment on the incident.

Louis was honored last year by Baltimore County Public Schools for a memoir he wrote entitled, "Strokes to Span a Lifetime." In an interview last April with the Towson Times, Louis, then an eighth grader at Dumbarton Middle School in Towson, said his first-place essay about his swimming career "sums up everything I've done."

"Certainly, I think that was a great example of the type of student he was," Dumbarton Middle School Principal Kelly Erdman said Thursday as she left school. "He loved science and math, and he was a great writer as well."

Erdman said she got to know Louis and his family early in his Dumbarton career, when the school recognized he was "beyond his years in science" and allowed him to take an online science course.


Additionally, Louis was one of a handful of student to take an advanced math class at Towson High while still at Dumbarton, Erdman said.

"Not only was he brilliant, he was also very kind to all kids, which is really just impressive," she said.

Erdman said the staff and teachers at Dumbarton are taking the news of Louis' passing hard, but said many were buoyed by the happy memories of his time there.

She smiled while recalling that Louis, who typically came to school straight from swim practice, would walk into school every day with "his smiling face and his great hair."

"He was always just ready for another day," she said.

A memorial service for Louis Lowenthal is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 3:15 p.m. at Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College.