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Police: Duluth Student Wanders to Wrong Home, Suffers from Hypothermia

Updated: 12/14/2013 1:41 PM
Created: 12/09/2013 11:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough

A 19-year-old college student is in critical condition after being found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia on the porch of a Duluth home.
    
Alyssa Jo Lommel was found Saturday morning after spending the night outside in subzero temperatures.
    
Duluth police say Lommel was at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Monday. Her condition was described as "stable critical."
    
Police say Lommel, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Duluth, was found unconscious by a passerby on the porch of her neighbor's house just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday. She had been dropped off at her home in Duluth at about midnight.

Duluth Police confirm Lommel had her house keys, but mistakenly wandered to the wrong home, her neighbors next door at 808 Woodland instead of her home at 810 Woodland. The neighbors weren't home, so help wasn't inside. 

Lommel collapsed outside in negative 17 degree temperatures. Police confirm Lommel, who is underage, had been drinking.

She suffered injuries from severe hypothermia and is at risk of losing a hand, a foot, or more. On her CaringBridge website, Alyssa's parents, Jay and Teri Lommel, say she's been through several procedures to help return blood flow to her hand and feet, even some skin grafting. 

The Lommels also told us they're grateful for your thoughts and prayers.

Alyssa is facing the threat of infections too. Lommel is alert and knows what's going on according to her family, but she can't answer questions because machines and tubes are helping her breathe.       

UMD officials released this statement to the campus community:

"Many members of our campus community have seen recent news stories about one of our students. Alyssa Jo Lommel, a sophomore majoring in psychology and sociology, has been hospitalized after sustaining injuries this past weekend. Our hearts are with Alyssa and her family in these difficult times.

Alyssa's friends have been deeply affected by this tragedy, and we encourage students to reach out to UMD Health Services for counseling and support.

The UMD Police Department urges caution in the extreme cold. Travel in groups. Let people know where and when you will be traveling, and check in. 

UMD Health Services warns that exposure to extremely cold weather without proper clothing or apparel can result in significant bodily injury including frostbite, hypothermia and even death in a very short period of time. Protect yourself, first and foremost, by limiting time spent in such dangerous conditions. If you do need to be outside, dress in layers, wear warm winter boots and cover the hands, ears and face with mittens, a hat and scarf or face mask since these areas of the body are most vulnerable to cold-induced injury.

Please help us with heightening awareness for winter safety and for looking out for ourselves and one another."


 


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