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Forum News Service, Published January 09 2014

Duluth frostbite victim to have toes removed

DULUTH - A frostbitten woman found Sunday in a Duluth alley will face surgery to remove her toes, according to her CaringBridge Web page.

Erin Coons’ “left toes are dead (and) there’s no blood flowing to the tips of them. Her toes will be amputated,” wrote her sister, Erica Coons. “She will need skin grafting, but how much is still unknown because the healing process takes time.”

Duluth police said they were called at 9:38 a.m. Sunday to assist an ambulance crew and the Duluth Fire Department after a passer-by noticed 30-year-old Erin Coons.

Emergency responders estimate that she had been in the cold for a few hours. She was conscious.

She was sent to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center and then transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The temperature at the time Coons was discovered was about 20 below zero.

Regions Hospital is where University of Minnesota Duluth sophomore Alyssa Lommel is being treated after she was found outside in early December. Lommel was moved from the intensive care unit there this week as more frostbite victims came in, including Coons.

Erica Coons wrote that her sister’s recovery time will be at least six weeks.