A mother of two young children died suddenly after drinking too much water because she couldn’t satisfy her thirst.
35-year-old Ashley Summers from Indiana was relaxing with her family at Lake Freeman over the Fourth of July weekend when she complained about her thirst and went on to drink four 16 oz bottles of water in just twenty minutes.
After returning home from her family trip to the lake, the woman collapsed suddenly in the garage and never regained consciousness. She was then rushed to the hospital where doctors diagnosed her with hyponatremia, a condition also known as water toxicity.
The condition, which can be fatal, occurs when there is an excess of water and a lack of sodium in the body. This often happens when a person drinks large amounts of water in a short period of time, severely upsetting their body and sodium ratio.
“She just felt like she couldn’t get enough water… When they left the sand bar to when they got to the dock, it was about a 20 minute boat ride … she drank four bottles of water in that 20 minutes,” Ashley’s brother, Devon Miller, said.
Recalling the aftermath of water poisoning, he added: “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.’”
Electrolytes, like sodium, potassium, and chloride, are essential for maintaining bodily systems and organ functioning by encouraging communication between cells. For ideal operation, one should strike an equilibrium between these electrolytes and the body water levels.
Our thoughts remain with Ashley’s husband, children, and other loved ones during this challenging time.