Mother’s Tragic Death From Drinking Too Much Water

An Indiana woman tragically lost her life due to water toxicity, a rare condition that occurs when an excessive amount of water is consumed in a short period of time. Ashley Summers, a 35-year-old mother of two, was spending the Fourth of July weekend at Lake Freeman with her family when she began to feel extremely dehydrated.

According to her brother, Devon Miller, Summers consumed four 16-ounce bottles of water within a 20-minute span. This amount of water, equivalent to half a gallon, is typically the recommended daily intake. However, Summers’ consumption was rapid and her body began to show signs of distress.

As the family vacation came to an end, Summers’ thirst seemed insatiable. She reported feeling lightheaded and suffering from a persistent headache. Upon returning home, she collapsed in her garage and was rushed to IU Health Arnett Hospital.

Her sister, Holly, relayed the distressing news to their brother. Summers had been admitted to the hospital with brain swelling, the cause of which was initially unknown. Unfortunately, she never regained consciousness. The medical team later informed the family that Summers had succumbed to water toxicity.

Water toxicity, also referred to as water poisoning or water intoxication, can occur when the kidneys are unable to expel excess water or due to underlying health conditions. Symptoms include general malaise, muscle cramps, soreness, nausea, and headaches. Dr. Blake Froberg, a toxicologist at the hospital, explained that this rare cause of death is more likely to occur during the summer or among individuals who frequently work outdoors or exercise.

Despite the tragic circumstances, Summers’ legacy lives on. She was an organ donor and her heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and some long bone tissue were donated, saving five lives in the process. Her family hopes that sharing her story will raise awareness about the dangers of excessive water consumption and the importance of maintaining a balance of electrolytes, sodium, and potassium in the body.