Ashley Summers’ family are still in shock at her death from drinking too much water while enjoying a summer’s day with loved ones.
The mother-of-two, a daycare worker from Monticello, Indiana — in the US midwest — was celebrating an Independence Day weekend of boating on Lake Freeman with her family.
On July 4, Summers developed a headache.
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“She just felt like she couldn’t get enough water,” her brother Devon Miller told WLFI News.
“When they left the sandbar 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.”
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Summers collapsed at the family home later that day. She never woke up again.
She died on July 6 from water intoxication.
US mother-of-two Ashley Summers collapsed and later died after drinking too much water too quickly. Credit: Facebook
The rare condition, also known as water toxicity, happens when you drink too much water and throw off the balance of electrolytes in your body.
Drinking too much water too quickly can cause your sodium levels to become too low and affect the size of your cells, including the cells in your brain.
“It pinched off her blood vessels like a kink in a hose and just stopped the blood flow to the brain,” Miller said.
“It was a big shock to us all. I was just like, this is a thing?”
Ashley Summers (left) drank four bottles of water in a 20-minute boat ride. Credit: Facebook
To replenish electrolytes, you should consume drinks such as Gatorade as well as water, and eat snacks, IU Health Arnett Hospital emergency physician Dr Alok Harwani told WLFI News.
“Things to look out for are if you just start feeling really out of it, very tired, very fatigued,” Harwani said.
“Sometimes patients feel like they’re starting to have a mild headache, or are just feeling overall unwell.
“Those could be early signs of water intoxication.”
If you’re concerned that you or a family member are not acting like themselves, you should contact emergency services or go to a hospital, Harwani said.
Miller and the rest of Summers’ family hope her sudden death will help to educate others about this rare condition.
“She will forever be our superhero and my number one love,” Summers’ husband Cody Summers said.
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