UMD student recovering from exposure makes progressAlyssa Jo Lommel’s open “beautiful brown eyes” gave family members an encouraging sign on Saturday as the 19-year-old University of Minnesota Duluth sophomore continues a difficult recovery from her night out in the cold.
By: News Tribune staff, news service reports, Duluth News Tribune
Alyssa Jo Lommel’s open “beautiful brown eyes” gave family members an encouraging sign on Saturday as the 19-year-old University of Minnesota Duluth sophomore continues a difficult recovery from her night out in the cold.
The St. Cloud native “is more awake and aware than she has been in two weeks,” her family posted on the teenager’s Caring Bridge site on Saturday morning.
Lommel remained in critical condition on Saturday, a spokeswoman for Regions Hospital in St. Paul said. She had been brought there after being found unconscious in subzero cold on the steps of a home on Woodland Avenue on the morning of Dec. 7.
Duluth police learned she had spent more than nine hours outside after being dropped off by friends around midnight at the driveway of her home. She was found in front of a neighboring home with severe frostbite and hypothermia.
In Saturday’s Caring Bridge post, family members said Lommel might be taken off her ventilator on Monday.
“You can see the confusion in her eyes, but we are still keeping the information we give her to the basics,” they wrote.
On Friday, friends and loved ones gathered at Lommel’s alma mater, Cathedral High School in St. Cloud.
Lommel’s roommate Abbie Hagen, also a Cathedral graduate, attended the prayer service and reported that her friend was making slow progress.
“It’s baby steps, but it’s very positive,” Hagen said.
Joel Stark-Haws, who coached Lommel in gymnastics at Cathedral, called her “an inspiring, driven young lady.”
Cathedral Principal Lynn Grewing said Lommel comes from a loving family who would be with her every step of the way. Gathering for prayer, such as at Friday’s event, is what the Cathedral family does at a time of crisis, Grewing said.
Friends have been raising money to help with the family’s expenses. A raffle took place during a boot hockey tournament last weekend at the Woodland outdoor hockey rinks in Duluth. It was followed by a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at The Other Place Bar and Grill on Calvary Road.
The St. Cloud Times contributed to this report.