A young mum has described how picking up a “lucky” dollar bill from a McDonald’s floor nearly cost her her life.
Renee Parsons and her husband were driving through Tennessee on Sunday when they stopped at McDonald’s in Nashville to use the bathroom.
While waiting with her three-month-old baby, the Kentucky woman spotted the dollar note on the ground.
“Thinking absolutely nothing of it, I pick it up [and] throw the dollar in my pocket,” she wrote in a harrowing Facebook post.
Once back inside their car, Mrs Parsons put the bill into the car door while telling her husband “how lucky I was to find a random dollar".
She then grabbed a wipe to clean her hands because she remembered her husband telling her not to pick up money off the ground as people had been putting it in fentanyl.
“All of a sudden I felt it start in my shoulders and the feeling was quickly going down my body and it would not stop. And then my body went completely numb, I could barely talk and I could barely breathe.
“I was fighting to stay awake as Justin was screaming at me to stay awake, and trying to talk to 911 and find the closest fire station or hospital,” she said.
Running every red light, Mr Parsons drove at 160km/h to get help.
“I passed out before we arrived at the hospital, but thankfully they worked almost as quickly as my husband did to get me there,” Mrs Parsons said.
It took a few hours and some medication before the young mother started to feel “somewhat normal” again.
A police officer who took the report told the couple the dollar note was likely either used to cut or store drugs and accidentally dropped, or it was purposely left with drugs on it.
“Either way, this is absolutely real and sad,” Mrs Parsons said.
“The mixture of my wet hands and the alcohol from the wipes, mixed with my body’s reaction to that drug, could of cost me my life.”
“The moral, I don’t care if it’s a $20 bill or a $100 bill, do not touch it!”
Despite the initial suspicion that the bill was laced with drugs, police said they didn't see any sort of residue on the note and said it wasn't tested for fentanyl since no one is being charged, according to WSMV.
Experts also believe that skin-to-skin with the drug wouldn't have caused an overdose or this level of harm.
"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 at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, told WSMV.
Drug laced dollars
The fentanyl scare comes just weeks after the Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee issued a warning not to pick up notes off the ground, after two dollars bills, laced with the drug, were found on the floor of gas stations.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times stronger than heroin, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Amid America’s opioid crisis, fentanyl overdose is the leading cause of death among adults aged 18 to 45.
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