McDonald's stop in Tennessee turns into hospital visit for Lexington woman

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 10:27:50-04

BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Kentucky woman's brief experience in Nashville this past weekend has gone viral.

She claims she got sick after picking up money she found in a McDonald's.

But not everyone is convinced that's really what happened.

"I honestly thought I was going to die," Renee Parsons recalled.

Parsons, who is from Lexington, Kentucky, had stopped with her family at a Tennessee McDonald's on Sunday afternoon. She then stepped just inside the restaurant to wait while her husband used the restroom.

"When I walked in the McDonald's, there was a dollar bill on the ground," Parsons said.

And what happened next is now detailed in a Facebook post that's been shared more than 160,000 times. In her now-viral post, Parsons describes how she picked up the dollar bill and put it in her pocket, later pulling it back out to show her husband.

"And we got in the van and as we started pulling away, it just hit me," she described.

Parsons said she felt really weird, numb and it became hard to talk and even breathe.

"It just continued to get worse and escalate, and I grabbed my husband's arm and said, 'Please help me. It won't stop,'" she said.

Her husband drove as fast as he could to the nearest hospital, going more than 95 miles an hour down Highway 70 to St. Thomas.

"She looked dead. I mean that's the only way I can describe it. She was pale and completely unconscious," Justin Parsons shared.

He said both he and his eldest son then started feeling odd and tingly too.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Parsons was out of it for several hours. Justin Parsons is now convinced his wife had a reaction to some sort of drug, he thinks fentanyl, that was on that dollar bill she picked up.

"I worked in law enforcement for 10 or 12 years and I observed a couple of incidents like this and it was very similar," he said.

And in fact, just last month, the Giles County Sheriff posted a warning after the Perry County Sheriff reported two separate incidents there of folded dollar bills that were laced with meth and fentanyl.

But the Metro Police officer who was called to the ER at St. Thomas told his supervisors he did not believe she'd been exposed to fentanyl because she did not need Narcan to be resuscitated and preliminary tests at the hospital did not show any drugs in her system.

Still, Renee agreed with her husband.

"I firmly believe this was some kind of exposure," she said.

And, she is now warning people not to pick up money, while her husband says he will never forget how their quick stop in Nashville turned into a trip to the hospital.

"Thank God we made it there safe but most of all, I thank God my wife is still here with me," he said.

A doctor who specializes in addiction medicine says he does not believe that what happened here had anything to do with fentanyl. He said it's extremely unlikely that anyone would experience an overdose or even symptoms simply by touching something like a dollar bill.

Meanwhile, Parsons said she's feeling much better now and after she was released from the hospital, the family continued on their way to Dallas for a conference.