The husband of a US woman of two who died after she drank too much water desperately performed CPR on the stricken woman – but was unable to save her, the woman’s uncle said.
Ashley Summers’ husband, Cody, rushed into action when she suddenly fell backward and passed out upon returning home from a Fourth of July outing on Lake Freeman, 190km south of Chicago, with her two daughters, Brooklyn and Brynlee, reported the New York Post.
“It was really hot, and they were out on the water,” Ms Summers’ uncle, Deon Miller, told news website The Messenger of the family outing.
“She had a headache and felt really thirsty. She thought she must have been dehydrated, so she drank like four bottled waters in half an hour.”
“Cody gave her CPR and got her going a little bit, but by the time they got to the hospital and ran tests and everything, they had to put her on the ventilator,” Mr Miller told the news outlet.
“By that time, her brain had swelled enough that it shut all circulation off to her brain, and she was brain dead,” he said.
“Then, that night, she was gone. It’s been a real shock for the kids and everyone.”
Mr Summers’ brother Devon Miller said she apparently had almost 2 litres of water in the short span.
“That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day,” he told Indianapolis TV station ABC-WRTV.
“My sister, Holly, called me, and she was just an absolute wreck. She was like ‘Ashley is in the hospital. She has brain swelling, they don’t know what’s causing it, they don’t know what they can do to get it to go down, and it’s not looking good,’” Mr Miller said.
“It was a shock to all of us. When they first started talking about water toxicity. It was like this is a thing?” he added.
Water toxicity occurs when too much water is consumed in a short amount of time, or if the kidneys retain too much water due to underlying health conditions.
Symptoms of water toxicity — also known as water poisoning or water intoxication — include general malaise as well as muscle cramps, soreness, nausea, and headaches.
The condition also can lead to insufficient salt in the blood, causing an electrolyte abnormality called hyponatremia in extreme instances.
The decreased sodium levels result in exterior cell fluid travelling into cells and causing swelling. In brain cells, this could turn fatal.
“We’re not doing very well,” Mr Miller told The Messenger about how the family has coped with the mum’s death.
“She loved kids, and her kids were on her hip all the time,” he said tearfully.
“She always carried babies around when she was younger. She was a good girl.”
In a Facebook post, friend Carissa Kay DeWitt said the grieving family had decided to donate Ms Summers’ organs.
“She will be gifting SO many people & giving them a second chance at life. I’m kind of jealous of these recipients, but also so thankful they get a piece of our Ash,” she wrote.
“Raise some hell in Heaven, Ash. See you later,” Ms DeWitt added.
This story appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission.