Renee Parsons Kentucky woman picks up dollar bill laced with fentanyl & nearly overdoses according to Facebook post amid dangers of tainted bills & America’s drug overdose crises.
‘My body went completely numb, I could barely talk and I could barely breathe,’ Renee Parsons wrote of Sunday’s alleged accidental drug overdose, although experts have since disputed her diagnosis.
The incident occurred while she was traveling to a conference in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Justin, and their two children. The family had stopped at a McDonald’s in Bellevue, Tennessee, when Renee spotted some stray cash on the ground and decided to collect it, WKRN News 2 reported.
‘I see a dollar bill on the ground. Thinking absolutely nothing of it — I picked it up,’ Renee wrote on Facebook.
Within minutes, her body went numb and she could barely move or breathe, News 2 reported.
Accidental drug overdose?
‘It’s almost like a burning sensation, if you will, that starts here at your shoulders, and then it just goes down because it’s almost like it’s numbing your entire body,’ explained Renee, who then went on to lose consciousness.
Recalled the husband at the time: ‘She hadn’t said anything for a while, then she said, ‘Justin, I am sorry. I love you.’ Then she just quit talking.’
Justin told News 2, ‘She looked like she was dying. She certainly was unconscious and very pale.’
Renee wasn’t the only one to experience troubling symptoms. Before she passed out, she had reportedly grabbed her husband arm with the same hand she clutched the money in, whereupon his lips went numb and his arm sprouted a rash.
Fearing the worst, Justin drove his wife at 95 miles an hour to St. Thomas Ascension Hospital, reported News Channel 5. Fortunately, Renee’s symptoms finally abated after four hours, whereupon the facility discharged her on an accidental drug overdose, WSMV 4 reported.
Justin, who reportedly worked in law enforcement for many years, said he believes that the dollar Parsons picked up was laced with fentanyl, which caused her to suffer an adverse reaction.
However, experts have since expressed serious reservations over the Parsons family’s drug overdose claims.
According to a Metro Nashville police officer who was called to the ER, Parsons decidedly wasn’t exposed to fentanyl as she didn’t require Narcan to be revived while preliminary tests didn’t reveal any drugs in her system. A department spokesperson added that they didn’t find any drug residue on the bill and planned to dispose of it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rebecca Donald, a fentanyl expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told News 4 that Renee’s symptoms didn’t indicate fentanyl poisoning. Even if the tender was tainted with said narcotic, it would require more than skin-to-skin contact to cause an overdose, the doctor stated.
‘It is much more likely for her to have a reaction if she had inadvertently rubbed her nose and exposed that drug to some of the blood vessels in her nose or licked her fingers or rubbed her eyes,’ said Donald.
Nonetheless, Renee is sticking to her theory. ‘What I do know is how I felt, what happened. It can’t be made up,’ the distraught mom told WSMV 4. She said she wants to use her ordeal as a cautionary tale as ‘it could have been a child’ who’d picked up the dollar bill.
‘The [moral], I don’t care if it’s a $20 bill or a $100 bill do not touch it!!!’ she warned on Facebook.
In June, Tennessee Perry County Sheriff’s Office warned about two incidents involving dollar bills laced with fentanyl.
Drug epidemic in America
In both cases, the money was found on the floor of a gas station with a ‘white powdery substance inside,’ the sheriff’s department wrote on Facebook, while urging parents to warn their children.
There are approximately 250 deaths each day due to the fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. — in America. The narcotic is also up to 50 times stronger than heroin, according Families Against Fentanyl.
The narcotic is currently the No. 1 killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.
More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May. The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one U.S. overdose death every 5 minutes. It marked a 15 percent increase from the previous record, set the year before.