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Nurse Carol Perkins Dies, Two Weeks After Rescue From a Frozen Pond

IFD says family worked with hospital to donate her organs

INDIANAPOLIS--A woman who accidentally drove out onto a frozen pond and whose car fell through the ice, has died. Indianapolis Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Rita Reith said Carol D. Perkins, 49, of Indianapolis, died last night about 10, after spending more than two weeks in critical condition at Eskenazi Hospital.

The 911 Calls

"There's a car inside of a pond underneath behind my apartment. Someone drove there and someone fell inside of the lake," said a call to 911 the night of Dec. 31. Perkins had missed the street and driven onto the pond instead, just before 8:30 on Sunview Circle.

She was able to call 911, too.

"It's coming in," she said. "It's filling up. It's cold."

Organ donor

Perkins was a nurse and donated her organs, said Reith. 

"Despite the aggressive and quick actions by firefighters who rescued Carol and the professional medical care she received at Sydney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, Carol succumbed to her injuries," said Reith. "Prior to Carol’s passing, the family worked with hospital staff to ensure organ donation occurred - which was successful."

The rescue

The night Perkins car went into the pond, a dive team from IFD went in and brought her out. The family thanked the firefighters they said gave her the best chance for survival.

Her neighbors also did the best they could with their calls to 911.

"They're down to the door. There's no way to open that door," said one man who called 911. He described the situation, then tried to signal for Perkins to get out of the window, which she could not do.

About four minutes after she went in the water, about 150 yards out onto the pond surface, the dive team was able to break the sun roof and get her out. 

PHOTO: Courtesy Carol Perkins family

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