Months after incident, frostbitten UMD student meets rescuers


Alyssa Lommel got to meet the people who saved her life.

Lommel, a University of Minnesota-Duluth student, was found unconscious on the steps of her neighbor's porch after a night of drinking last December. She had spent the night outside in temperatures that dipped as low as 17-below zero.

At a hockey game in St. Cloud last week, Lommel met the people who saved her life.

“We finally got to meet Ellen and Sam,” Lommel’s mother wrote on her CaringBridge page on Thursday, according to the Duluth News Tribune. “It was quite emotional for all of us, but especially Alyssa. She hugged her and thanked her for saving her life. I had a whole week to decide what I was going to say to her, and I still had no words. None. There is no way I can express what I’m feeling toward her. Without her paying attention and seeing Alyssa, I don’t think she would be here with us.”

Ellen Johnson and her boyfriend Sam Salo found Lommel on the morning of Dec. 7, 2013. The couple told the newspaper they spotted her when they pulled up to a stop sign. They were surprised no one else had seen her.

It was estimated Lommel spent nearly nine hours outside that night. Lommel was released from the hospital on Feb. 12. She suffered severe frostbite and underwent numerous surgeries, including finger and toe amputations.

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