The Kentucky woman who was hospitalized after picking up a dollar she claims was laced with fentanyl, causing her to overdose, said neither she nor the bill were ever tested for the powerful opioid.
Renee Parsons shared the revelation in a Thursday appearance on “Fox and Friends,” where she remained confident she overdosed on fentanyl, despite a wave of doubt cast on her story by medical experts and police.
“The last that we heard one — the dollar bill was never tested, and that came straight from the police officer himself,” Parsons, joined by her husband Justin Parsons, told host Charley Shimkus.
“My hospital records also show that I was not tested for fentanyl,” Renee said. “They did a six or 10-panel drug screen which came back negative. As the doctor came into the hospital room he said ‘I’m sorry we can’t test for synthetic opioids,’ which is what fentanyl [is].”
Renee Parsons said she collapsed from a drug overdose just moments after picking up the bill in the parking lot of a Tennessee McDonald’s while traveling to Dallas with her family Sunday.
Right as they left, she “felt this feeling overcome my body, that it really started at my shoulders and started going down,” she told Fox.
“And it really became not necessarily hard to breathe because I was gasping for air but hard to breathe because it was almost taking over my body as in relaxing me so much I didn’t necessarily care to breathe.”
Her husband, Justin Parsons, said he saw his wife’s speech become “slurred,” and said she was laid up in the seat as her “head was kind of going back and forth with the turns of the vehicle.”
“I told our oldest son to dial 9-1-1, which he did, and they’re asking for the address which we didn’t know and at the same time,” he said. “I’m looking up and just put a hospital in my iPhone and started driving towards the nearest hospital.”
According to a Metro Nashville cop who was called to the emergency room, Parsons decidedly was not exposed to fentanyl as she didn’t need to be revived with Narcan, while preliminary tests didn’t reveal any drugs in her system.
Police told WSMV officers did not observe any residue on the dollar bill, so it was never tested since nobody was charged with a crime. But authorities said they still planned to destroy the bill.
Medical experts have suspicions about Parsons’ self-diagnosis of a fentanyl overdose. Dr. Caleb Alexander, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Fox News on Tuesday that such cases are “incredibly rare,” akin to “lightning striking.”
“It would be incredibly unusual for somebody to touch something that was contaminated with fentanyl and subsequently to experience a really serious, adverse effect from it,” he explained.
Dr. Rebecca Donald, a fentanyl expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that even if the dollar bill was tainted with said narcotic, it would require more than basic skin contact to cause 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,” she explained.