A 45-year-old woman underwent emergency gallbladder and stomach surgery after she was allegedly served water that contained liquid nitrogen at a hotel in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida.
Stacey Wagers filed a lawsuit on Friday against The Don CeSar Hotel, alleging that she became “gravely ill” after she was served the dangerous chemical while eating at the hotel-owned Maritana Grille for her birthday on Nov. 11, 2018, Wagers’ attorney Adam Brum confirmed to PEOPLE on Monday.
Brum said that Wagers alleged in the lawsuit that she and her friends at the table witnessed a waiter use liquid nitrogen to make another guest’s dessert “smoke” before he added the chemical to her water.
After he poured some in her water glass, she drank it and got sick “within seconds,” Brum said.
“She was throwing up and shouting to the staff for help,” he said of Wagers, who was taken into an ambulance to the ICU.
Wagers was forced to have emergency gall bladder removal surgery. Parts of her stomach were also removed due to tissues being burned by the extremely cold temperature of the liquid nitrogen, the lawsuit stated.
The Don CeSar Hotel has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Brum said that the waiter who allegedly poured the liquid nitrogen into Wagers’ cup of water has not yet been identified.
The incident will affect Wagers’ health permanently, Brum said, explaining that she will have stomach and digestion issues due to consuming the nitrogen.
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“There was an explosion in my chest,” Wagers recalled to NBC News. “I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was dying.”
Although liquid nitrogen is non-toxic, the chemical “can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs” if it is accidentally consumed, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration safety alert from August 2018
The FDA safety alert adds that these products are typically marketed under several names, such as “Dragon’s Breath,” “Heaven’s Breath,” and “nitro puff.”