UF Tampa student Molly Ammon dies during spring break

5:45 PM, Mar 15, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Messages of condolences and support continue to get posted on Angie Ammon's Facebook page. Family and friends are mourning the loss of her daughter, 19-year-old Molly.

"Great kid, quiet in the classroom. When it came to a leadership role, she was the first one to volunteer," says Teresa Cozzi, Molly's former teacher at Plant High School.

Molly graduated from Plant High School in May.  Cozzi says, "You could trust her with anything, a great kid."

The National Honor Society student went on to the University of Florida. She was on spring break when Pinellas Sheriff deputies found her body in a Madeira Beach apartment.

The toxicology report will determine what caused Molly's death, but her family thinks it may have been from a night of drinking with friends. But how much is too much to turn fatal or land one in the emergency room?

"The younger you are, the greater the risk alcohol poisoning can lead to coma and death," says Dr. James Orlowski, University Community Hospital's head of pediatrics Orlowski warns that with spring break underway, the sun and alcohol don't mix.

"If they drink a lot rapidly, there's no warning system in their body. They develop toxicity quickly, especially if they're drinking hard liquor."

Dr. Orlowski says someone who is severely intoxicated should not sleep it off to get sober. "You need to have somebody stay with them, make sure they're OK, keep breathing, that they don't vomit or aspirate... that's the other way they can die from this," says Dr. Orlowski.

Molly's family and friends hope her death serves as a lesson to teenagers and college students. Cozzi adds, "She was an awesome young lady."

UCH sees 30 to 40 cases of alcohol poisoning in young people each year.

A memorial service has been set for 10 a.m. Thursday morning at Christ the King Catholic Church at 821 S. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

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