Frostbitten UMD student returns to campus life

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The college student who lost parts of her hands and feet to frostbite after she spent the night on a Duluth porch last December following a night of drinking is resuming her academic career as planned.

The Duluth News Tribune reports reports Alyssa Jo Lommel returned to classes at the University of Minnesota Duluth Tuesday. Writing on her daughter’s CaringBridge website, Teri Lommel wrote the 20-year-old had moved in and was excited to pick up her books and get back to class.

“She makes me so proud to know she is diving right back into college life,” Teri Lommel wrote. “I feel that she will do incredibly well.”

A story in the St. Cloud Times last spring noted that Lommel, a 2012 graduate of St. Cloud's Cathedral High School, was still on track to graduate college with her class. The psychology/sociology double major enrolled in online summer classes. The story noted that before the accident, Lommel had wanted to use her degree to be an addictions counselor. Now she wants to be a social worker like the one who has helped her with recovery.

Lommel was rushed to a Duluth hospital on Dec. 7, after she spent an estimated nine hours outside on a night when the temperature dipped to 17 degrees below zero. She was later transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where doctors amputated parts of her feet and all of her fingers due to frostbite.

Lommel arrives on campus after being fitted with an electronic hand. Her mother has confidence she will have a successful year.

“She has always been a fantastic student and I have no doubt that will continue,” wrote Terri Lommel . “Especially now since she feels like she has something to prove. I think she has already proven to many of us how much of a rock star she truly is.”

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