Gloria Ramirez The Toxic Lady
This episode contains graphic descriptions of medical afflictions that some people may find disturbing. We advise caution for listeners. Under thirteen the ambulance sped down the streets of Riverside California. It was nineteen ninety four just five days after Valentine's Day and thirty-one-year-old. Gloria Ramirez was on the brink of death six weeks ago. She was diagnosed with cervical chancer earlier that evening. Her Boyfriend Johnny called nine one one when he noticed that she was having trouble. Breathing when responders arrived around eight PM. Glorious heart was racing. Her blood pressure was in free fall and her breathing was shallow and fast inside the ambulance. Paramedics gave her oxygen in an IV. But nothing seemed to help her condition. She was incoherent unresponsive. Around eight. Fifteen. Gloria was rushed inside Riverside General Hospital where a team of nurses and doctors waited. They took her straight into trauma room one and got started. She was given valium and Ativan to sedate her followed by retire. Liam to get her heart's rhythm under control. It didn't work. Her readings were more in line with someone in their sixties. Not a thirty one year old. Not even one with cervical cancer. They took a blood sample to get a better understanding of what was happening but when they drew glorious blood they were shocked by what they saw inside the syringe. Small Beige crystals started to form. When our bodies fail we trust doctors to diagnose the problem but medicine isn't always an exact science sometimes. It's a guessing game with life or death stakes. This is medical mysteries apart. Cast original. I'm molly and I'm Richard. Every Tuesday will look at the strangest real life medical cases in history and the experts who raced against the clock to solve them. We'll analyze all the evidence and try to find an answer. You can find episodes of medical mysteries and all other park asked originals for free on spotify over ever. You listen to podcasts to stream medical mysteries for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type medical mysteries in the search bar at par cast. Were grateful for you our listeners. You'll allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram? At podcast and twitter at podcast network today were covering the nineteen ninety. Four death of Gloria Ramirez a thirty one year old mother of two who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer after being rushed to the hospital for what appeared to be a heart attack. Nearly two dozen hospital staff members who came in contact with Ramirez became violently ill which led some to wonder was Gloria Ramirez. The world's first toxic woman inside trauma room. One doctors cut open glorious sure to operate when they did. They noticed an oily sheen to her skin but they didn't give it much thought. Their priorities were elsewhere. The lead medical professional. Dr Humberto Choi prepared the defibrillator. He let out a clear and everyone's step back. Glorious Body recoiled off the table but her heart rate was still out of control. It was beating too fast to allow any blood through. He gave it one more. Go still nothing. Susan Cain a registered nurse was asked to take a blood sample but as Kane step toward Gloria. She smelled an odd mixture of garlic and fruit. She didn't have time to dwell on it. She stuck the IV inglorious arm. The blood came easily enough but as it filled the tubes at chemical aroma filled. The room chain assumed it was from chemotherapy. It's not uncommon for the blood of cancer patients to smell like Monja or the chemicals used during treatment. What she didn't know was the Gloria at yet to start. Chemo Cane handed the syringe over to a medical resident. Julie's Gordievsky who noticed Manila colored crystals forming in the file. Dr Ocho noticed the crystals as well but as he did. Cain suddenly dropped to the ground. The doctor reached out to break the nurses full but CAIN was out cold they put her on a Gurney and wheeled her into the lobby. Other staff would take care of her. It wasn't uncommon for people to occasionally faint in the Er even seasoned professionals stress levels are high. You're on your feet. And sometimes people forget to eat and hydrate but as Dr Ocho went back to work on. Gloria things started to spiral even more of control. Chinse key was also getting lightheaded. She had to leave the room to they. Were down. Two sets of hands Grochowski stumbled to the nurses station and sat down. She thought she just needed mayor. But moments later when a CO worker came by to check on her Gorski was unconscious. Suddenly Korchinsky body began to spasm then. Her breathing became unsteady before stopping entirely. It became a cycle spasm. Panic breathing then nothing over and over back in the Trauma Room Maureen Welsh a respiratory therapist was giving Gloria more oxygen as. She did the world around. Her started to grow fuzzy. She fainted and hit the ground. Re previously healthy professionals were suddenly violently ill. It was becoming clear that everyone in the room could endanger. Dr Ocho looked around for any cause of the sudden illnesses. He spotted a sink full of various liquids. He drained it hoping it would have some positive fact but it didn't chaos reined in the ER as Laurie. His condition deteriorated soon. Nearly half of Dr. Ocho staff incapacitated one. After another they dropped to the ground ran from the room. No one knew what was happening. The common denominator was exposure to Gloria. That seemed impossible. It had to be something else in the room. Ocho it turned on the ventilation ordered an emergency evacuation of the department on the way out. They threw away. The used. Syringe couldn't afford to bring it outside not if glorious blood was the parking lot of Riverside General Hospital became a makeshift e R for every other patient besides Gloria even if their condition was critical. Dr Ocho who was confident that they were safer outside as for Ocho. He end to select few team. Members stayed inside to care for Gloria. She was still his patient and he was going to do everything in his power to keep her alive but it wasn't looking good glorious. Heartbeat became faint. Dr Ocho has shocked her heart twice before administering even more drugs but it was all ineffective he worked on Gloria for twenty more minutes then at eight fifty pm on February Nineteenth Nineteen ninety-four. Gloria Ramirez was pronounced dead. Gloria was wheeled into a secluded room. They wanted to take every precaution. If there were toxins in her bloodstream. They couldn't let them escape. Doctor Ocho exited the hospital shortly after nine pm to a parking lot filled with his staff. He was at a loss for words. It was unlike anything he had ever seen. Cain was awake. Let her arms were twitching. She said that her face felt like it was burning Gorton ski was still suffering from apnea and her limbs were violently shaking. Welsh had trouble controlling her limbs. After she came to the alarm had been sounded. The Hazmat team was on their way. All ambulances were diverted to other hospitals in the area Riverside General Hospital wasn't safe a little after ten PM. The has mantain arrived. They donned large yellow and blue suits each with their own air supply. If you looked at the scene from a bird's eye view it would look straight out of a sci Fi film around eleven pm. The has met team entered the hospital. Everything was usually quite as they slowly made their way through the main lobby. Every room they entered they made sure it was clear until they finally reached trauma room. One the table in the middle of the room was empty. Equipment was scattered all over the floor. It looked like a war zone but the has met instruments were picking up any signs of toxins. Someone noticed the ventilation was on that could have eliminated the presence of ANYTHING AIRBORNE. But it didn't seem to spread throughout the rest of the hospital. The team made their way to the room. Where Gloria was being quarantined inside. Lorries body was laying on the same Gurney. She arrived in only hours earlier. They took measurements of the air in her womb. Is Well again. They didn't find a trace of anything dangerous. They exited the hospital reported to their county. Superiors all clear. The hospital. Staff was aghast. How could that be? Gloria Ramirez was dead twenty. Three different people experienced symptoms upon coming in contact with her. Many of them were still receiving care. It had to be something. Maybe it was a completely new chemical something. Undetectable something that could only be created inside the human body coming up. The fallout of glorious death in the ensuing investigation. Hi It's Richard. If you haven't heard the new podcast series supernatural with Ashley Flowers yet. I highly recommend you head on over and subscribe today. It's a fantastic series. That's gotten off to a very successful start. So thank you to everyone who tuned in so far. We're very proud of it. Every Wednesday Ashley. Flowers takes on a different crime or mystery where most fitting theory isn't always the most conventional here are some of the incredible episodes that have been featured so far where the deaths of two Brazilian men are result of making contact with spirits on Mars. Get closer to the truth than ever before. Regarding the mystifying lead masks case who and what were responsible for the unexplained death of Australia's Somerton man dig deeper into the peculiar details and poetry involved in the case and was Italian. Theoretical physicist at Torrey myron disappearance caused by his discovery of time travel or was it something more sinister each week Ashley takes on the strange and surreal to explain some of the world's most bizarre true crime occurrences. It has mystery. It has intrigued and it certainly has my attention. I hope you enjoy it to follow supernatural with Ashley. Flowers free on spotify over ever. You get your podcasts now. Back to the story on Sunday February Twentieth Nineteen Ninety four thirty year old Maggie. Ramirez Garcia went to grab the morning paper it always had sensational headlines but that mornings were especially ghastly toxic woman infects. Er staff it didn't sound like a woman. It sounded like a creature from outer space. The image on the front page depicted men in has meant suits carrying out a sealed metal casket allegedly to ensure the woman. Couldn't infact anyone else. The details of the story were bizarre. A significant number of the hospital staff experienced symptoms of illness after coming into contact with her five had to be hospitalized. The entire emergency room shut down and didn't reopen until the following morning around seven. Am they gave little information about the woman besides her age? Thirty one maggie sister. Gloria was thirty one. She wondered if maybe she had gone to school with the alien woman. She could ask her later when they spoke on the phone. Gloria was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer ever since Maggie especially treasured their moments together. It was serious but Gloria was young so she stood a fighting chance. Chemotherapy started in a few days and Maggie planned on being there every step of the way and she'd bring plenty of interesting newspaper headlines to amuse her sister that afternoon. The phone rang. Maggie was expecting to hear her sisters boys but instead it was her mother-in-law she sounded cold and distant. The conversation that followed didn't seem real. Loria was the woman in the metal casket on the front page of the newspaper. Just like that. Maggie's world fell apart but there was little time to grieve. Reporters arrived on her doorstep. That evening all she wanted was to be left alone with her family. Maggie had no information. Give them she was just as in the dark as they were. Riverside County began their official investigation almost immediately but they had to be cautious there were so many unknowns at the least of which was the dangers surrounding handling glorious body. Add to that the media breathing down their necks and any wrong. Move could be disastrous. I the air samples collected by the has met team. Were seemed to be analyzed. By a lab they hadn't detected any noxious gas but they could have missed something in fact just one year earlier. A hydrogen sulfide or sewer gas was found in the hospital. It's incredibly deadly but occasionally appears in medical facilities that routinely handle chemicals. The authorities wondered if this was a repeat event in the meantime there was the autopsy on February twenty fourth. The coroner's office prepared for the procedure. It was conducted late at night to reduce the chance of the general public being exposed. They built a temporary structure outside and set up cameras to monitor the room at one. Am The lead coroner and three other pathologists Don Hazmat suits and entered a separate team closely monitored. The situation through closed circuit televisions. If anything happened they would intervene. Meanwhile the media gathered across the street waiting for something to go wrong inside the room. The pathologist took glorious body out of the metal box. It was cool to the touch. They cracked open her chest and recorded their findings. They took tissue samples from various parts of her body organs. They found evidence of a heart attack but they had expected as much otherwise. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They re stitched Gloria and place your body back inside her airtight container. In many respects. It was good news. If sample tests came back clean they would be able to hand her body over to her family. Within a week when the four pathologists emerged from the building an hour and a half after they entered each one was told to stand in a small plastic pool. They were hosed down four times and they were stripped and re washed the cleaning team and anyone else who had recent direct contact with them were taken to the hospital for observation. Deputy Coroner Stephanie. Albright was in charge of glorious investigation. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on her shoulders. There was a grieving upset family. A confused hospital staff and media. Who were out for blood? Luckily for Albright the autopsy gave her league traces of a chemical called D. M. S. d. m. s. show was first used as an industrial solvent in papermaking before being introduced into American homes in the nineteen sixties for pain relief. It was advertised as a wonder drug however after a closer study by the Federal Drug Administration. Ems was pulled from most shells because adverse side effects included vision loss due to its popularity however it still remained a staple in many people's homes the coroner identify de MSL as the cause of the oily sheen in garlic smell of glorious skin. Most likely she had used it for pain relief but as for what pain that remained up in the air and the revelation of DMS. Oh wait -ment seemed to be where Albright's good luck ended. Months passed without any proof of toxins. Inglorious System Maggie and the rest of the Ramirez family. Were losing faith. Each day with no news felt like a lifetime. They hired a private lawyer to help them. Take a look at the mysterious circumstances surrounding glorious death. They believed that the county should have had answers. They had millions of dollars in resources. Eventually the Ramirez is couldn't help but wonder whether the hospital was covering up something much more sinister like the fact that they could be responsible. It was then that the Ramirez family found the violation from a year prior when the hospital was cited for sewer gas not only that they received testimony that Riverside General may have plenty to hide. A man named Dennis wise claimed that he had been admitted to the hospital only weeks before Gloria during his stay he was forced to leave his room twice supposedly because of fumes coming from the bathroom. He told them that whatever it was it made him feel extremely nauseous. He believed that if he stayed in the room he would've gotten sick. The smell was unlike anything he had ever come in contact with what started as a conspiracy. Theory was suddenly becoming plausible. Glories sister Maggie's resolve was sealed when she found out that Dr Overthrow had flushed unknown liquids down the drain in the trauma room during glorious treatment. It didn't matter so much what they were but why they were there. They had to have been the cause of the doctors and Nurses Illness Not Gloria. And if they were that would mean that the hospital was to blame for glorious death. Maggie contacted every journalist. That would listen. The story needed to get out to the public riverside. General Hospital killed her sister. As Maggie's claims hit the news pressure mounted on the forensic teams to provide answers. They had to find a cause of death. That could prove the hospitals innocence. No one felt that pressure more than Stephanie. Alright and she was willing to authorize any path to solution on March twentieth. The county performed a second autopsy on Loria and they did so without alerting her family. They took even more samples at once again. The results were inconclusive at the same time in order to quell the rumors about the presence of sewer gas A. Hospital. The county ordered a review of the hospitals plumbing reports by March twenty third. The county claimed that sewer gas was decisively. Absent from all reports. It couldn't have been the cause of death. The county then reached out to the lab at the Forensic Science Center at Livermore National Laboratory to examine the samples. They were shipped on dry ice up the coast to their facility. Hopefully the director of the lab. Brian and dressing would have more success. The results wouldn't take long but unfortunately Stephanie Albright would never see the results on March twenty seventh nineteen ninety-four while on the phone with her estranged husband. Stephanie Albright died by suicide. The coroner reports suggested that pressure from glorious case was almost certainly a contributing factor. One tragedy turned into two. Meanwhile at the livermore National Laboratory Ryan and dressing ran countless tests on tissue samples but was running into. Maybe the same problems that everyone else had. It wasn't finding much but he did find something and anomaly. Gloria had a high concentration of an organic compound known as methyl so phone in her liver. It was the probable cause of the ammonia like smell. But it didn't have the capability to make a room full of people pass out on April Twelfth Lab Director. Brian and dressing flew down to southern California to give Riverside County labs findings inconclusive. It had now been almost two months since glorious. Death and her family wanted her body back. They wanted the opportunity to put their worries as well as their daughter and sister to rest but first Maggie Ramirez Garcia wanted an independent autopsy to be performed when she told authorities. They told her that she could only have glorious body. If she was willing to keep her sealed in the metal container to the county it was a way to protect the public. But for the Ramirez family it was another sign of a cover up. They filed the court order and within a matter of days. A judge ruled in their favor. On April fourteenth. Glorious body was handed over to the Ramirez family. On April Fifteenth Independent Pathologist Dr Richard Fukumoto performed a nearly unprecedented third autopsy. That's more than even late. President John F. Kennedy. This time there were no high tech suits or emergency precautions only a coroner and Abbadi. Dr Fukumoto wasn't scared. He didn't believe the county's assertion that toxin was present toxin or not Lori is body was in rough shape. Dr Fukumoto said that there had been cross contamination between different tissues that and the presence of fecal matter from the decomposing body ruined any chance of him running more sophisticated tests and possibly finding an answer. Another autopsy down without anything to show for it. He could only say for certain that Gloria hadn't died from her cervical cancer and at the time of his examination there were no toxins in her body on April twentieth. Nineteen Ninety four lorries family. Finally were able to hold a memorial service. All they wanted was for her to be remembered for more than her death more than the toxic woman from the news. Eight days later. Riverside County gave an official statement. Gloria Ramirez died of natural causes. She was killed by a heart attack. As a result of kidney failure caused by her cervical cancer. The news was world shattering. It was inconsistent with everything. The Ramirez family believed and everything they knew to be true. And how could they get away with giving no explanation for how or why? The hospital staff had gotten sick well. The State of California might have had similar concerns because afterwards they stepped in to take on their own investigation coming up the state of California's shocking conclusions. Now back to the story two months after thirty one year old Loria Ramirez's death. Nobody seemed any closer to an answer. Apply LORIA COULDN'T BE SAVED. Twenty-three people became ill while treating her. The deputy assigned to the case died by suicide riverside. County may have officially stated that Gloria died of natural causes but they never explained why or how. The hospital workers got sick during the spring of Nineteen ninety-four California's Department of Health and Human Services stepped into investigate Anna Osorio in Piston Waller. Some of the state's top doctors were put in charge. The created a survey for all these supposedly infected staff to fill out and they found that the symptoms they each experienced weren't all consistent given that the cause was likely one thing that didn't make sense. After months they released a controversial report. It stated that what the staff members experienced was actually a case of mass hysteria in other words the symptoms the staff members experienced or psychosomatic created by the mind. Not Real Julia or Kinski. The conclusion was laughable. She was in the third year of residency as a medical student. She wouldn't panic over a heart attack patient. All medical professionals are trained to deal with that kind of stress. Her symptoms were everything. But imaginary after Gloria's death Grochowski spent weeks in the hospital. Battling a documented case of hepatitis. She spent even longer without the ability to walk. She had surgery on both of her knees to try and reintroduce blood flow. Maureen Welsh one of the nurses in the trauma room. That night was equally unsatisfied. She had over a decade of experience treating patients before. Gloria there was no way a heart attack. Patient would have faced her enough to faint. She was convinced it was more than mass hysteria and she decided to do something about Welsh had read about the forensic science center at livermore and their involvement in the case in her mind they were the only impartial party to have gotten involved. She reached back out to the forensic science centers lab director Brian and dressing and urged him to take another look. Though Andresson didn't agree to take it on himself. He asked his deputy director. Patrick grant to scan through the files. They had Gloria to see if he could find anything. Unusual and grant may have been the fresh set of is the case needed he honed in on the inclusion of D. M. S. O. In the coroner's report in his younger years had been an athlete and used it often muscle and joint pain. He like everyone before him knew that. Dm So couldn't have caused a room of medical professionals to faint but it had to have played a part then he noticed the high concentration of Di Methyl cell phone in glorious system which is only a single oxygen atom away from DSL grant wondered whether the D. M. S. O. In her system might suddenly to die method so phone after interacting with pure oxygen. He considered other theories but he kept returning to DM so it was one of the only constants in all of the reports then suddenly it clicked. Gloria had a D. M. S. O. In her system on the date of her heart attack she had di methyl cell phone in her body weeks after she died and during her treatment she was administered large quantities of oxygen to help keep her alive both in the ambulance and in the trauma room. What happened if another oxygen atom was added to die methyl soul phone grant flip through a book of chemical compounds and landed on the page. His fingers slid down the correct column. It becomes Di Methyl sulfate a deadly chemical that has been tested by the United States military in these tests. It was used as nerve. Gas Exposure can cause dizziness seizures and loss of muscle control. That could lead to his fixation. This had to be what had caused the chaos in the hospital that night. He was almost positive. But how did the extra oxygen atom bond with the DMZ so his team set out to see if they could replicate what happened they used a solution called ringers? Which has almost the exact same chemical makeup as blood. The only difference is that it doesn't have red blood cells and it's clear that clarity makes it easy to observe they put Dso in the mixture and added oxygen. The more they added the richer it became at higher levels. The cell phone became unstable when they reduced the temperature to ambient room level. They saw exactly what had happened. When the blood was drawn from Gloria pistols formed. It was the result they were looking for the grant and his team weren't able to turn the cellphone into sulfate. They did theorize how it could happen. They thought that if the unstable compound brought down at room temperature and the components separated they could then reformed to create the toxic dye. Methyl sulfate grant was thrilled with his findings. It wasn't perfect and it still needed to be pure reviewed but it was something and closer than anyone had come to a plausible explanation in November of nineteen ninety four. The preliminary study of grants findings was handed over to Riverside County. The team. Made it clear that this study needed to be peer reviewed and that maybe another group would be more successful in turning Di Methyl cell phone into Di Methyl sulfate but the county paid them. No mind they had been itching for an answer for nearly nine months. They published the preliminary results of the study before any further research could be conducted Lori is family was devastated months after the county stated that Gloria had died of natural causes once again story was changing and felt like Gloria was being scapegoated and blamed for something she had no control over. The Ramirez family stood by the fact that the hospital was still at fault. The unsupported findings were just a way of absolving themselves of the blade. The county had no shame. They didn't care as long as they were exonerated of any responsibility three years later in nineteen ninety seven. The study was peer reviewed and published while the support of the scientific community hasn't been unanimous. There has been a general consensus that it provided the most plausible explanation. Even if it's yet to be fully confirmed and that's what we find the most likely answer a lethal combination of D. Messo pure oxygen poisoned Gloria Ramirez and gas the medical professionals who tried to treat her in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight. Riverside General Hospital closed and moved into a brand new building across town to some. It was an admission of guilt. They believe the county was burying their past misdeeds when the building was eventually raised all evidence went with it but while that old building no longer remains the memories forever linger and what really happened to Gloria Ramirez and the staff of medical professionals who treated her remains unanswered. Thanks for listening to medical mysteries. You can find all episodes of medical mysteries and all other are cast originals for Freon spotify. Not only to spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy. All of your favorite podcast originals. Like medical mysteries for free from your phone. Desktop or smart speaker to stream medical mysteries on spotify. Just open the APP tap browse and type medical mysteries in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram. At podcast and twitter at podcast network will see next time. Medical mysteries was created by Max Cutler. In his podcast studios original it is executive produced by next Cutler. Sound design by Brendan Hawkins With Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden and Travis Clark. This episode of Medical Mysteries was written by Robert Tyler Walker with writing assistance by Maggie Admire and stars Molly Brandenburg and Richard. Rosner I listen. I can't speak highly enough about the new podcast. Original series supernatural with Ashley Flowers every Wednesday. Take a deep dive into the strange and surreal to find the truth behind some of the world's most bizarre true crime occurrences. I had a chance to listen to a couple of episodes and I absolutely loved it. You definitely want to check it out search for supernatural with Ashley Flowers in the spotify APP and listened free today.