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Duluth frostbite victim has fingers removed

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ST. PAUL -- The 19-year-old University of Minnesota Duluth student found outside in subzero temperatures had surgery Tuesday to remove parts of her hands.

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Alyssa Lommel’s mother, Teri, wrote on her daughter’s Caring Bridge site Tuesday night that Lommel no longer is on the critical care side of the burn unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

A plastic surgeon opened up Lommel’s hands and found more tissue damage than they had anticipated. Her fingers could not be saved. Amputations were made just below the knuckles on both hands.

“Alyssa hasn’t been told about her hands yet,” Terri Lommel wrote. “She was so excited when she could move her left thumb. She felt positive that she would still have that. Its (sic) hard news to give and even harder news to receive.”

Doctors took skin from one thigh for skin grafts.

“Dr. Endorf said her heels looked better than they had expected, and she should be able to put pressure on both heels once they had healed,” Teri Lommel wrote.

Lommel is expected to walk normally.

The UMD sophomore from St. Cloud was found on the steps of a neighbor’s home in Duluth on the morning of Dec. 7

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