Finger, toe amputations planned for Duluth student who survived night on porch

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Alyssa Jo Lommel, the 19-year-old University of Minnesota Duluth student who spent a night in subzero temperatures on a neighbor's porch earlier this month, has been told that doctors plan to soon amputate fingers and toes, Northland's Newscenter reports.

“He (her doctor) felt that today it would be good to just tell her about the amputations,” her mother Teri wrote on Monday on a Caring Bridge web page, the Duluth News Tribune reports. “His feeling was that she would only hear that anyway, no matter what else he said.”

Teri Lommel wrote that they are trying to give her daughter time to process what has happened to her, and that she has not been allowed to see her bandaged hands and feet, which suffered severe frostbite.

Doctors at Regions Hospital in St. Paul told Lommel they did everything they could to save her fingers and toes, but the damage was too severe, Northland's Newscenter reports.

Just before Christmas, the college sophomore was removed from a ventilator and able to communicate with family, nearly three weeks after she spent a night in the cold. Doctors Monday tried to tell her that she was lucky to be alive, but Lommel's mother Teri wrote on Caring Bridge that she doesn't think the message sunk in after she was told of the planned amputations.

“It took her several minutes before she looked at any of us. Then she started to slowly cry," her mother wrote.

Lommel, who police say was found unconscious on the porch after a night of drinking, is now in listed in serious but stable condition. That's worse than fair condition, which is how she was listed last week, the News Tribune reports.

Lommel had been dropped off at her home by friends, but Lommel ended up on her neighbor's porch. Lommel reportedly had her keys but may have mistakenly wandered to the wrong home next door, investigators said.

A passerby found Lommel early on the morning of Dec. 7 after a night when temperatures dipped to 17 degrees below zero. Rescuers had reported that Lommel was "stiff as a board" when they arrived.

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