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Mom dies after cleaning up scene of her son’s overdose

A Pennsylvania mom who cleaned up the scene of her son’s overdose might have come into contact with a lethal drug or paraphernalia, authorities suspect. She died a few days later, and so did her son.
A Pennsylvania mom who cleaned up the scene of her son’s overdose might have come into contact with a lethal drug or paraphernalia, authorities suspect. She died a few days later, and so did her son. Associated Press

Earlier this month Theresa Plummer found her 45-year-old son passed out in the bathroom at home after he reportedly overdosed on drugs.

She was with him in the intensive care unit as doctors treated him.

Then she did a mom thing: She cleaned up the scene of the overdose.

Authorities in Cambria County, Pa. suspect that Plummer, as she cleaned, absorbed some type of drug through her skin or had a reaction to drug paraphernalia she might have handled.

Complaining of shortness of breath she was taken to the same hospital where her son was being treated.

Plummer, 69, died on Nov. 6. Her son died the next day.

“Again this is a caution for safety, for anyone coming into contact with any type of powder substance,” Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees told WXPI in Pittsburgh and other local media this week. “You should use extreme caution and notify the proper authorities.”

Authorities haven’t yet identified the drugs involved.

“My strong advice to any family that may have this happen to them is to call law enforcement to have them or EMS services come back and remove the substance or material that may have been left behind,” Lees told WJAC in Johnstown, Pa.

Plummer’s obituary said she enjoyed rescuing animals and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

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