Tonight another story is circulating social media about a young adult who made a deadly decision while allegedly drunk. Her friends say 21-year-old Wisconsin native Elizabeth Luebke was drinking at a party Saturday night when she got mad and left, wearing only shorts, stockings and a tank top. Her friends assumed she made it home. But it was 6 degrees below zero that night. The wind child was nearly 30 below. Elizabeth froze to death.
Victoria was a 17-year-old college freshman with plans to become a surgeon. Her father said she liked to drink at parties with her friends but they were “careful” and always stayed together. Until one night they didn’t. Victoria also wandered off into the frigid night. Her body was found the next day.
Nineteen-year-old Alyssa’s story sounds eerily similar but with a somewhat happier ending. Police say the Minnesota college student was drinking with friends one frigid night. One of her friends drove her home, but she never made it into the house. Alyssa spent nine hours outside where the temperatures hovered around 17 degrees below zero. Medics airlifted her to the hospital where she was in a coma for three weeks. Doctors had to cut open her arms and stomach to try to control the swelling in her body. They amputated her fingers and her toes, which were beyond repair. Alyssa spent months in rehab relearning how to do everyday tasks like putting on her makeup and texting.
Alcohol can dull the senses, making the frigid cold feel not quite as cold. Drinking also dilates the blood vessels near the skin, pulling much needed blood and heat away from vital organs. Bottom line, if you’re going to drink – no matter what the temperature – make sure you team up with a designated sober friend whose job it is to make sure you make it home safely.