Gloria Ramirez, dubbed the Toxic Lady by the media, was an unfortunate woman who was rushed to the emergency room in Riverside, CA, on February 19, 1994.
Ramirez, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer, was suffering from abnormal heart and breathing rates, as well as displayed confused or erratic speech.
Ramirez has a place in the this blog due to the perplexing and horrific events that soon took place after her arrival at the hospital.
According to the medical staff, Ramirez had an oily substance form on her skin and her breath smelled of a sickly-sweet, garlic-like odor. When blood was drawn from her for testing staff reported the sample gave off a chemical smell similar to ammonia. In addition to the smell, staff noticed strange particulates floating in the blood sample and became aware of what they described as fumes emanating from Ramirez' body.
Within a short amount of time, staff began fainting and complaining of symptoms such as burning sensations on their skin, severe nausea, breathing difficulties, and uncontrollable spasms and/or flailing of the limbs. The hospital was quickly evacuated.
Of the 37 staff members present, as many as 32 reported symptoms they associated to contact with the toxic gas and/or substance they believed came from the body of Ramirez.
Unfortunately Ramirez did not survive. A subsequent autopsy concluded she had died from kidney failure associated with her cancer.
As far as the symptoms experienced by the staff as well as their claims of toxic fumes and substances, such were said to be attributed by the California Department of Health to mass hysteria. Other possible explanations evolve the medicines Ramirez was taking to have been converted to dimethyl sulfate, a type of nerve gas, inside Ramirez' body. To date, many people are not satisfied with the official explanation of what happened. Many people continue to believe that the hospital covered-up and destroyed evidence which would have solved the mystery.
Gloria Ramirez' body was not released to the family until some two months after her death, at which time the body was far too decomposed for a proper second autopsy. Because of such, it is likely the events of what happened that February day will remain a mystery.
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