A 69-year-old Pennsylvania woman has died after cleaning up the drug paraphernalia left behind from her son’s fatal overdose, according to the Daily Mail.
Theresa Plummer found her son Ronald, 45, unresponsive in the bathroom of his Portage, Pennsylvania, home on Nov. 5 and he was transported to the hospital. The next day, Theresa left her son’s bedside to go back to his house and clean up the mess he had left.
Shortly after cleaning up the drugs and accompanying paraphernalia, she began to experience shortness of breath and was rushed to the same hospital to which her son was admitted. Theresa died on Nov. 6 and her son died the following day, Nov. 7.
Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees believes that the elderly woman probably absorbed some of the drugs into her system while cleaning the bathroom where the overdose occurred.
Autopsies have been conducted, according to police, but the official cause of death can’t be released until toxicology tests come back, which could take six to eight weeks.
“This is a caution for safety for anyone coming into contact with any type of powder substance,” Lees warned. “You should use extreme caution and notify the proper authorities. 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.”
Plummer’s obituary said she “enjoyed rescuing animals and spending time with her family and grandchildren,” and that her son “enjoyed the outdoors and sports.”
The mother and son are survived by Theresa’s husband and three of her other children, along with their children.