For more than 20 years, Janice Womble has mowed 22 acres of her peaceful Mansfield property. The heat has never been a problem – until it was.
“You don’t think about the heat,” said Womble. “You know it’s hot in Texas.”
Womble said she went out early one morning on her riding lawn mower. She mowed the property in four hours and even took a break.
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She came indoors, took a shower and then went to sit on her patio.
“I stood up to go in the house and get some more water and when I did, I passed out and hit my head on this patio,” said Womble. “It happened that fast, that fast.”
Four hours on the mower turned into a two-day stay at Mansfield Methodist.
Dr. Ketan Trivedi has seen a spike in the number of patients suffering heat-related illnesses in the last two weeks.
“Heat illness can affect anyone,” said Dr. Trivedi. “Kids that are athletic. Older people that are working outside - male, female, gender difference, it doesn’t really matter.”
Womble thought she did everything right. She started mowing in the morning and even took a break.
“When you’re on a riding mower you think it’s not that bad, so you can really get in trouble in a hurry,” said Womble. “I thought I was fine. I’d already been in the shower and everything, but when it hits you, it hits you.”
Trivedi said multiple breaks are key along with steady hydration.
“Go out there for 30 to 40 minutes and take a break, and then 30 to 40 minutes again and take a break,” said Trivedi. “Avoid overexertion.”