Duluth frostbite victim moving to hometown hospital
ST. PAUL – The 19-year-old University of Minnesota Duluth student who suffered frostbite after spending a night outside in subzero temperatures was set to go to a hospital in her hometown of St. Cloud on Monday.
That was the word from Alyssa Lommel’s mother, Teri, on Alyssa’s Caring Bridge website.
Lommel lost parts of her feet and all of her fingers this month after being found in in December off Woodland Avenue in Duluth after a night of drinking. She had been recovering at Regions Hospital in St. Paul since Dec. 7 and was being transferred Monday to St. Cloud Hospital. She is a 2012 graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral High School.
Lommel saw her hands for the first time over the weekend, nearly two weeks after amputation surgery.
“Alyssa was very teary, and they said she had a hard time when they unwrapped her hands,” Teri Lommel wrote Saturday. “She still doesn’t want to look at them.”
She has been getting some instruction on how to cope without fingers, Teri wrote. “They put a strap on her wrist, and put a toothbrush in it and showed her how to brush her teeth. She did awesome, and didn’t seem to have any problems with it at all until she burst into tears and said how badly she wanted her hands back. It was crushing.”
Teri said she hopes her daughter will do better closer to home in St. Cloud. She will be doing rehabilitation there.
Earlier in January, Alyssa had surgery to remove the tips of her toes on one foot and a part of the other to the ball of her foot.
Lommel, a sophomore at UMD, was found on the steps of a neighbor’s home on the morning of Dec. 7. It’s estimated she spent nearly nine hours outside on a night when the temperature dipped to 17 degrees below zero.
Lommel worked with children in the after-school program at St. John’s School on Woodland Avenue. The school sold bracelets and key chains as “Alyssa’s Angels” and are donating the proceeds to the Lommel family.