Although she is just 19-years old, Alyssa Lommel has experienced a struggle that most adults will never even have to face. Because she got trapped in frigid temperatures for too long, the temperatures started to kill off parts of her bodies. Outside in just a light jacket and a pair of Uggs, Lommel learned why it is essential to dress warmly when the temperatures start to drop, and now she has a warning for all young people who don’t like dressing warmly.
Because the temperatures were so low, Lommel got hypothermia, and the blood stopped flowing to her fingers and toes. That meant that when she was finally rescued, doctors had no choice but to operate on her and take her dead flesh away for fear of it getting infected or worse. Now she has lost her fingers and many of her toes because she was too busy trying to “look cool” while out in the cold weather.
Now Lommel wants other young people to realize that sacrificing warmth for fashion could result in losing fingers and toes as it did for her.
In a heartbreaking interview with USA Today, Lommel admits that she doesn’t know how she fell unconscious while outside. But she does remember that she was cold while out there. That’s why she wants other young people to be careful.
Although the devastation has changed her life forever, she is ready to move on and seize her future. With the help of her community, she is confident that she can do that.
“There were a few days that were incredibly hard to deal with, and there have been a lot of tears, but at the same time, the support that I’ve gotten is unbelievable. Every little ‘we’re thinking of you’ counts. I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without the support I’ve received from friends, family and even strangers. I honestly don’t remember anything from that day. I don’t remember going to class, going to work or anything. The whole day was kind of wiped out. To be honest, I don’t want to remember. I just want to move forward.”
Lommel admits that life is difficult without fingers. When she sees other young people trying to “look cool” and not dress warmly, she gets furious.
When she was found alone in the cold, Lommel’s body temperature had dropped to 79 degrees, and her hands and feet had swollen.
She told Inside Edition, “I had to relearn every single thing in my life. I had to relearn how to open a book… Simple things people don’t think about because it’s just so basic.”
Now she wants to leave young people with some advice on how to deal with cold weather this winter.
“Put on a coat! Put on a hat! Put on mittens! You may think it’s uncool, you may be worried, ‘What if I leave it somewhere?’ What if it gets stolen?’ What if you lose your life?”
What do you think about this teen’s story of loss because of cold weather?
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.