Doctor warns of hypothermia dangers after woman dies in Kentucky

Melissa Sheerin
Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 11:10:14-05

TODD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVF) — A hypothermia death has been reported in Kentucky due to frigid temperatures.

In some cases, it can take only minutes for someone to become too cold. A woman who was staying in Guthrie, Kentucky died from hypothermia, and another person who was in the mobile home is currently being treated for it.

25-year-old Melissa Sheerin was found dead in a mobile home that didn't have heat or electricity on February 12. "It’s just a really bad situation," Hailee Foster said.

Foster said her friend had been struggling with some personal issues, so they hadn't been in contact lately. Foster said, "Nothing's ever worth losing someone and you not fixing it... no fight is worth it."

While Sheerin's death remains under investigation, Dr. Marshall Hall at TriStar Skyline Medical Center said the first symptom of hypothermia is shivering. "But also you start to have some mental slowing so maybe some confusion, some slurring of the speech, some weird things that they do and family and friends will pick up on that,” Hall said.

Dr. Hall said it's important to bundle up, only stay outside for short periods of time, and check on people who may be elderly or vulnerable. "If you know the heat’s not working quite right, or you know they might fall and can’t get up, those are people that we need to check on," Hall said.

As Melissa Sheerin's friends and family mourn, it's an important reminder to check on loved ones and make sure they're warm during this cold snap. "It breaks my heart, but I’m just glad that she’s not suffering anymore," Foster said.

The family is having a private funeral. Her friends have a Go Fund Me as they're planning a memorial. The rest of the proceeds will go to a sober living house or an animal shelter in her memory.