A local woman died late yesterday afternoon from what local doctors are calling a fatal brain freeze.
“She comes in regularly, this time she asked for a waffle cone of coconut vegan caramel corn. She took a couple of licks on it, then started holding her head,” a store employee tells us. “She said she was getting an ice cream headache, but just kept eating away. I even told her she should probably take it easy with it. Next thing I know she was on the ground with ice cream all over her face.”
Paramedics were called immediately, but Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene. The state medical examiner listed the cause of death as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, or brain freeze.
Brain freeze happens when nerves in the roof of the mouth sends signals to the brain that it is becoming too cold. As a result the brain attempts to warm itself by constricting blood flow through vessels in the brain.
“Typically brain freezes last only 30-45 seconds, the brain realizes the mistake and begins allowing blood flow back through,” Dr. John Day, a UAMS neurosurgeon, tells us. “It appears in this case, because she kept eating the ice cream the brain never corrected the mistake and her brain overheated. This should be a lesson to stop eating the moment an ice cream headache begins.”
This is the third ice cream related death for Loblolly Creamery. The previous deaths took place last August at a “spooning” (ice cream sampling) party where the creamery introduced their Cherry and Gin Sorbet. Two individuals fighting over the final sampling simultaneously stabbed each other in the eye resulting in instant death. Loblolly renamed the flavor “Death by Cherry” in their honor.
Visitation for Roberts will be held Thursday night at 6:30 at Pulaski Height’s United Methodist Church. A melted ice cream social will be held in the church parking lot immediately following the visitation to honor her memory.