Mum of two dies after drinking too much water on a family day out by a lake

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Ashley Summers, 35 and a mom of two, has died after drinking too much water (Image: Ashley Summers / Facebook)
Ashley Summers, 35 and a mom of two, has died after drinking too much water (Image: Ashley Summers / Facebook)

A woman lost her life after suffering water toxicity from drinking too much water on a hot day.

Ashley Summers, a 35-year-old mum of two, was on a getaway last month with her husband and two daughters to Lake Freeman near Monticello, Indiana, where they stayed from Saturday through Tuesday during the Fourth of July weekend.

The last day of their trip was particularly hot, with temperatures reaching up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (over 30 degrees Celsius). Ashley felt dehydrated and gulped down four bottles of water, nearly two litres, in a short period of time, around 20 minutes, her family said.

She started feeling lightheaded and had a headache, and once they reached home, she passed out in her garage. Her family rushed her to IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana, but sadly, she never regained consciousness.

Mum of two dies after drinking too much water on a family day out by a lake eideziqkeiqhhinvAshley passed out in her garage and never regained consciousness (Ashley Summers / Facebook)

Devon Miller, Ashley's brother told WRTV : "She loved being on the water. She loved being on the lake. [Then] 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.

Mum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tearsMum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tears

"Someone said she drank four bottles of water in 20 minutes. I mean, an average water bottle is like 16 ounces, so that was 64 ounces that she drank in a span of 20 minutes. That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day." Devastated, the grieving brother continued: "It was a shock to all of us. When they first started talking about water toxicity. It was like this is a thing?"

Mum of two dies after drinking too much water on a family day out by a lakeShe was married with two daughters and spent a day out in a lake before she died (Ashley Summers / Facebook)

Water intoxication, also called water poisoning can occur if someone drinks too much water. In rare cases, it can be fatal as it interferes with the balance of electrolytes in the body, especially if someone drinks lots of water without getting enough electrolytes from food.

Although the occurrence is rare, it can be fatal in case a person drinks extreme amounts of water, such as during water-drinking contests or during long periods of intense exercise. Sometimes, it can also happen as a form of torture.

Water is generally safe, but too much of it in a short time can be harmful. Excessive body water can also be caused by certain medical conditions. Drinking a very large amount of water quickly has even cause deaths in humans.

Mum of two dies after drinking too much water on a family day out by a lakeHer family rushed her to the hospital but unfortunately, she didn't make it (Ashley Summers / Facebook)

Dr Blake Froberg, a toxicologist with IU Health Arnett Hospital suggested that, to avoid intoxication by water, one should have a hydration plan "making sure that you’re drinking things that have electrolytes and sodium and some potassium." Symptoms of water toxicity include feeling generally unwell as well as having muscle cramps, soreness, nausea and headaches.

Ashley was an organ donor and was able to donate her heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and some of her long bone tissue, ultimately saving five other lives, her family said. A Venmo account was set up for her children as well as to help pay for medical bills. For donations, the username is @Cody-Summers-16.

Vassia Barba

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