Renee Parsons took to Facebook on Monday, July 11, to share the shocking ordeal.
She said the incident happened on Sunday, July 10, while travelling to a conference in Dallas, texas, with her husband and two children.
During the trip, the family stopped at a McDonald’s in Bellevue, Tennessee, when Renee spotted some stray cash on the ground and decided to pick it up.
“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.
She lost consciousness almost immediately.
“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.
Her aghast husband painted the horrific scene: “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.”
Before she passed out, she had reportedly grabbed her husband’s arm with the same hand she clutched the money in, and he too started experiencing similar symptoms as his wife. His lips went numb and his arm sprouted a rash.
Fearing the worst, Justin drove his unconscious wife to St. Thomas Ascension Hospital, reported News Channel 5.
Fortunately, Renee’s symptoms finally abated after four hours, and 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 overdose theory.
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 dollar bill was tainted with said narcotic, it would require more than skin-to-skin contact to cause an overdose, the doctor said.
“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 overdose theory.
“What I do know is how I felt, what happened. It can’t be made up,” she 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, per News 2.
“The [moral], I don’t care if it’s a $20 bill or a $100 bill do not touch it!!!” she warned on Facebook.