Elderly woman dies from heat stroke while gardening

The family of Mary Morrer, 86, says she suffered a heat stroke and died while gardening. (Source: WALA)
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 10:26 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - An elderly woman passed away Monday afternoon after her family said she suffered a heat stroke while gardening.

Family said Mary Morrer, 86, was born and raised in Mobile and lived here her whole life.

“She wasn’t the type of person to stay in the house,” said Mary’s sister, Vernita Burrell. “If she sees something, she was going to do it and help people.”

Morrer worked in her yard all the time, but when the heat got her, family said it was too late.

“I think it was a little bit too hot out here, and it was over 93 degrees, and it was too hot,” said Burrell. “She had a heat stroke, and she just fell dead.”

According to the CDC, about 650 people die every year from heat-related illnesses. Local doctor William Roy said there are many warning signs before a heat stroke hits.

  • Headache
  • Nasuea
  • Paling skin
  • Dizziness
  • Absence of sweat

“If you’re waiting until you are already experiencing symptoms, you’re behind the 8-ball,” said Roy. “You need to hydrate well before you go out into the environment, then cool, calm, quiet area so your body can me maximally hydrated.”

Roy said avoid going outside in the middle of the day. Instead, do any outside activities in the early morning or late evening.

Hydrate with sports drinks containing lots of electrolytes.

“People are going to be outside, and they’re going to be playing and doing sports, doing yard work, doing construction outdoors, and again it’s just very important to realize it’s a potential risk,” said Roy.

Mary’s family also warned others to check on their family and be aware of this dangerous heat.

“If it’s too hot out here, please do not come outside, stay inside, drink your plenty of water because if you come out in this heat, it can happen to you,” said Burrell.

If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, immediately call 911, and move them to a shady or air-conditioned place.

Keep in mind the summer heat is just beginning.