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Forum News Service, Published December 11 2013

UMD student remains in critical condition after hours in subzero weather

DULUTH – The condition of University of Minnesota Duluth sophomore Alyssa Lommel remains critical but stable at a hospital in St. Paul, where she is being treated for severe frostbite and hypothermia.

Lommel’s family reported on the CaringBridge website Wednesday that she had an uneventful night, “which is good,” the post read.

“Her breathing has improved somewhat, but she is still on the ventilator. She had another transfusion this morning.”

The post said Lommel had no procedures done Wednesday, and doctors are using time to let frozen tissues heal. Work has been done in recent days to get blood circulating in her limbs.

“Waiting is so hard,” the post read. “Keep praying for strength and healing.”

Doctors at Regions Hospital had planned to do surgery on Lommel’s hand today and also some skin grafting, the Web post stated.

Lommel spent more than nine hours in subzero weather early Saturday morning before she was found on steps at a home next to hers. First responders said one hand had swollen to three times its size and cracked from the severe cold.

On Tuesday, the Duluth Police Department closed its investigation into how Lommel ended up outside. She had been drinking Friday evening with roommates and friends. She was dropped off at her driveway around midnight, and that was the last anyone saw of her until two people found her on the steps at 9:30 a.m.

Tracks in the snow show Lommel probably tried to get into the neighboring home. It is being rented by members of the UMD women’s basketball team, which was playing out of town last weekend. Her cellphone was found on the back steps to the home.

It isn’t clear if Lommel tried to get into her own home, where a roommate said she was up watching a movie until 1:30 a.m.