Alton man is weather’s first fatality
Brother learns of death while making arrangements for mother
LINDA N. WELLER The Telegraph
ALTON — A man making arrangements for his mother Thursday at an Alton funeral home sadly learned his brother just died of a heart attack after using a snow blower.
A neighbor came to Gent Funeral Home, 2409 State St., to tell the brother of victim Carl W. Walker, 66, of the 300 block of Lindenwood Boulevard, that Walker had died of an apparent heart attack, staff said.
The men’s mother, Arlene Walker, 97, had died Tuesday at Alton Memorial Hospital. Her son Robert Walker, brother of Carl W. Walker, was at Gent finalizing her funeral arrangements.
Carl Walker’s death was the first fatality the Madison County Coroner’s Office attributed to recent inclement weather, namely from the cold and snow removal.
The office continues investigating the death, its press release says.
Walker developed shortness of breath while using the snow blower, went inside his home and his wife called 911, the release says. Paramedics from the Alton Fire Department and LifeStar Ambulance Service responded to the home and began treating Walker. Ambulance paramedics continued treatment and took him to Saint Anthony’s Hospital emergency room.
“Doctors were able to diagnose Mr. Walker as having a myocardial infarction (heart attack),” the release states. “During the treatment of the myocardial infarction, Mr. Walker went into cardiac arrest. Advanced cardiac life support was started, but doctors were unable to regain a pulse and Mr. Walker was pronounced dead at 9:51 a.m.”
Information was not available as to if Walker had previous heart-related illnesses.
Carl Walker’s funeral arrangements are pending at Gent.
Arlene Walker’s visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, and her funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, both at the funeral home.
The Coroner’s Office cautioned people to take precautions in light of more snow and even colder temperatures in the forecast, beginning Sunday.
“With forecasts in the coming days calling for additional snow and bitterly cold temperatures, residents are being asked to be mindful of the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia,” Coroner Steve Nonn said in the release.” Nonn also warned that people with heart disease and other pre-existing medical conditions “to be extra cautious in the days to come.”
“The symptoms of hypothermia (cold exposure) include confusion and disorientation, dizziness, exhaustion and profound shivering,” Nonn said.
“Frostbite may be suspected with gray, yellowish or white skin discoloration, a waxy feel to the skin, along with numbness to the involved area of the body,” Nonn said in the release. “Those with medical conditions should consult with their medical professional to determine their limitations during weather like we are experiencing. We just want to make sure that people close out the holiday season safely and without tragedy.”
© 2014 The Telegraph
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