Indiana Mom Dies After Drinking Too Much Water — Here's How It Happened

Ashley Summers, an Indiana mom of two, has died after drinking too much water. Here's what caused Ashley's condition and the details surrounding her death.

D.M. - Author

Aug. 8 2023, Published 9:06 p.m. ET

An Indiana mom has died from water intoxication after drinking too much water, WRTV Indianapolis reports. Ashley Sommer, a mother of two children, was celebrating with her family at Lake Freeman when she began feeling ill. Ashley’s brother, Devon Miller, explained that she passed out in her garage and was later transported to the hospital. Devon got a call from their sister, Holly, who revealed Ashely’s devastating diagnosis.

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"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,'" said Devon. Unfortunately, Ashley never regained consciousness and died a short time later. Devon went on to explain that his sister often visited the lake with her family and “loved being on the water.”

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Following Ashley’s death, her family opened up about the factors that led to the Monticello mother’s hospitalization. Here’s what we know about the sad chain of events.

How much water did Ashley Sommer drink?

Details surrounding Ashley’s death may be shocking to some, as water intoxication — also called Hyponatremia — isn't a common occurrence. According to the Mayo Clinic, water intoxication is prompted by the consumption of copious amounts of water in a short period of time. As a result, the body’s sodium levels become diluted, causing nausea, seizures, headaches, and death. Ashley’s brother revealed that she drank an excessive amount of water before being hospitalized.

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“Someone said she drank four bottles of water in 20 minutes,” Devon said. Adding, “That’s half a gallon. That’s what you’re supposed to drink in a whole day.” Prior to the incident, Ashley reportedly felt ill and complained of dehydration. This reportedly led her to consume a large amount of water, which caused her untimely death.

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Ashley’s family revealed that she was an organ donor and they saw the promise through. Her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and bone tissue were donated to help save the lives of five people.

How can you prevent water intoxication?

Ashley’s brother, Devon, explained that he was shocked to learn that the Monticello mom had died of water intoxication. In a Facebook post made after her death, Devon emphasized the importance of staying hydrated and moderating water consumption. He explained that Ashley became “severely dehydrated” after a long weekend of boating, as she seemingly didn't have any prior medical conditions.

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Similarly, the Mayo Clinic has outlined a set of guidelines to prevent hyponatremia and treat its symptoms. The clinic suggests drinking water seldom, even when participating in sports. They further explained that sports beverages, moderation, and guidance from a doctor are key to avoiding the potentially fatal condition.

The institution also lists a group of factors that may further contribute to hyponatremia. Age, drug use, kidney disease, and intense physical activities may increase your risk of water intoxication. The Mayo Clinic emphasizes that medical attention should be sought if a person experiences “nausea and vomiting, confusion, seizures, or lost consciousness.”

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