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Alyssa Jo Lommel, UMD student who nearly froze, cried when told about amputations [UPDATE]

Alyssa Jo Lommel, UMD student who nearly froze, cried when told about amputations [UPDATE]
Alyssa Jo Lommel

-- Update at bottom --

Original post (December 30) -- Around 9:30 a.m. on December 7, University of Minnesota-Duluth student Alyssa Jo Lommel, 19, was found nearly frozen to death on a neighbor's porch. She'd apparently spent the entire night outside while temperatures dropped as low as 17 below zero.

THE BACKSTORY: UMD student Alyssa Jo Lommel tweeted about tequila shots before she was found freezing

More than three weeks later, Lommel remains hospitalized. Her condition has been upgraded to fair, but according to her family, doctors still haven't told her how bad her injuries are.

Lommel's CaringBridge page is private, but the Duluth News Tribune reports that last week, her family wrote that doctors would be performing "some amputations" soon.

An entry published yesterday indicates Alyssa Jo herself remains in the dark about what amputations she's facing. Her mother wrote:

"I talked with her doctor today and he seems to be in agreement that Alyssa is ready to be told about her injuries and the care plan that they have decided on. I don't think any of us are ready. I know I am very anxious and dreading it. She really hasn't asked many questions about her injuries and all the bandages, so the doctor thinks on some level she probably knows it's not good."

The Pioneer Press, citing Lommel's CaringBridge page, reports that she was on a ventilator and unable to communicate until just last Monday. She's now able to speak but still hasn't been allowed to see her hands when doctors change her bandages.

:::: UPDATE ::::

According to a new entry on her CaringBridge page, Lommel has now been told that she'll need to have some of her extremities amputated.

Her doctor "felt that today it would be good to just tell her about the amputations," her mother wrote yesterday (via the Duluth News Tribune). "His feeling was that she would only hear that anyway, no matter what else he said."

The doctor "also told her how lucky she was just to be alive, but I really don't think any of that sunk in," Teri Lommel continued. "It took her several minutes before she looked at any of us. Then she started to slowly cry."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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