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UMD Student Who Suffered Severe Hypothermia Will Need Amputations

Updated: 01/01/2014 12:13 PM
Created: 12/31/2013 3:43 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

The parents of the University of Minnesota Duluth student who suffered severe hypothermia said she has been told she will need to have some of her extremities amputated.

Earlier this month, Alyssa Lommel was hospitalized after she was found unconscious outside in subzero temperatures. She has been in critical condition for much of her hospital stay, but was upgraded to serious condition last week.

On Monday, Lommel's doctor told her that they tried to save her fingers and toes, but they were too damaged, according to a post by a family member on her CaringBridge website.

Since then, Lommel has had a hard time processing the news.

"He explained to her how damaged her fingers and toes were and how hard they tried to save them for her. He also told her how lucky she was just to be alive, but I really don't think any of that sunk in. It took her several minutes before she looked at any of us. Then she started to slowly cry..."

Police say Lommel, a sophomore from St. Cloud, had been out drinking with friends Dec. 6 and was dropped off at her Duluth house around midnight. A passer-by spotted Lommel on the front stoop of the house next door about nine hours later. Temperatures that night were around 17 below.

She did not want to talk to a therapist from the Burn Unit initially, a family member said. However, she did end up talking for a little bit.

"I really think she just needs time to process everything. I have to remember we are almost three weeks ahead of her. We've had the time to spin everything around in our heads, she hasn't. I have no doubt she will eventually come to terms with it and be able to move on."

According to the post, Lommel still suffers from nausea. She is hoping to eat more regular foods soon so she can stop being tube fed.


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