The young woman claims picking up a $1 bill at a fast food restaurant sent her to the hospital Sunday. The woman and her husband believe that she accidentally overdosed on fentanyl, though doctors aren’t so sure. But whatever happened, it left the woman in the hospital for several hours. According to the woman, she reportedly saw a dollar bill on the ground and picked it up. Few minutes later, her body went numb. “I couldn’t even breathe. 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,” the woman described the incident.
“She looked like she was dying. She certainly was unconscious and very pale,” her husband Justin Parsons said. The couple from Kentucky, Renee and her husband Justin, were traveling through Tennessee on their way to Texas when they stopped at a McDonald’s. Renee saw a dollar bill on the ground and picked it up. “As I was walking inside, there was a dollar on the floor just hanging out, so I picked it up, not thinking anything of it,” Renee told WSMV. Within minutes her body went numb.
“I couldn’t even breathe. 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,” she told WREG. Her husband recalled that she went silent for several moments until she said, “Justin, I am sorry. I love you.” They rushed to the hospital where Renee was treated for an accidental overdose. On the way to the hospital Justin said his wife began to slur her speech before falling unconscious. “I grabbed my husband’s arm with the same hand that I had the money in and said, Justin please help me, it won’t stop it’s getting worse.”
Justin said shortly after his wife grabbed his arm he broke out in a rash and his lips went numb, though his symptoms lasted for about an hour while his wife’s lasted about four. It’s unclear what happened, though the couple believe Renee came into contact with fentanyl when she picked up the money. The toxicology report did not test for synthetic drugs. Two doctors at University Medical Center commented on the incident questioning her symptoms being tied to an overdose.
“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,” Dr. Rebecca Donald, a fentanyl expert and assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at Vanderbilt said.
While it is possible for the drug to be inhaled, it would take a larger volume of the drug. “It is certainly not impossible for that to happen, but one would think it would be a significant amount that you could see it on the hands and dollar bill to get into the air system.” Despite police not finding any residue on the bill, though they said it could have been used to cut or store drugs, the couple maintain that Renee was hospitalized for an accidental overdose. “What I do know is how I felt, what happened. It can’t be made up,” Renee said. Following the frightening incident she plans to receive training on how to administer Narcan, the prescription medicine that can reverse a drug overdose.