HOUSTON, Texas — A Texas suspects she was poisoned by touching a napkin stuffed in her car’s door handle outside a Houston restaurant. Doctors agreed she had been poisoned but were unable to identify the poisonous material.
Erin Mims joined her husband at a Houston-area restaurant to celebrate her birthday last Tuesday afternoon. As she left the restaurant she noticed someone stuck a napkin in the door handle on the passenger side of her car, Fox 26 Houston’s Sherman Desselle reported.
She pulled the napkin out of the door and opened it to get in the car. Once inside she asked her husband if he stuck the napkin in the door — he said no.
Mims decided to go back into the restaurant and wash her hands. A few minutes later, she began to feel a tingling sensation in her arm.
“Maybe five minutes, my whole arm started tingling and feeling numb. I couldn’t breathe,” Mims told the Fox 26 reporter. “I started getting hot flashes, my chest was hurting, my heart was beating really fast.”
Mim’s husband quickly took her to a hospital where doctors raced to determine what substance had been used to create the numbness and other symptoms her body experienced. Her vital signs jumped all over the place, she explained.
“The doctor came in, and told me it wasn’t enough in my system to determine what it was, but said it was acute poisoning from an unknown substance,” the woman said. He told her he thought it might have been an attempt to kidnap her.
Houston Police Department officials took an assault report but told Fox 26 they had not seen any kind of similar complaint before. An official with the Drug Enforcement Administration also said they had never heard of this type of attack.
Fox 26 consulted with poison control expert Mark Winter from the Southeast Houston Poison Center. He said her symptoms could match up to hundreds of different toxins. He called her exposure “casual” or minimal, the report explains.
Mims told Fox 26 she decided to share her story on social media and then her post went viral. She said several people said they had similar situations. Fox 26 said they were unable to confirm the reports.
“All I could do was think about my babies. It was the scariest moment of my life,” says Mims.