Doctors 'Cautiously Optimistic' About UMD Student With Severe Hypothermia

Updated: 12/14/2013 2:12 PM By: Cassie Hart

Photo: Alyssa Lommel's Facebook page
Photo: Alyssa Lommel's Facebook page

The 19-year-old UMD student who spent almost 10 hours out in the cold is making some improvement, according to her family.

The Caring Bridge website for Alyssa Jo Lommel says doctors are "cautiously optimistic".

She was taken into surgery Friday at Regions Hospital after she started having trouble breathing. She is now on a ventilator.

Doctors tell the family she is making "baby steps" toward progress. They expect her to be on a ventilator through at least the weekend, according to the update on Caring Bridge.

Lommel suffers from severe frostbite. Doctors say amputation could be a possibility.

Firefighters at the scene say she was “stiff as a board” when they found her. Officers say her hands were swollen to three times the size of a normal hand and were “extremely white in color,” with the skin splitting open in some areas.