WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man from Loxahatchee, Florida, has filed a lawsuit in the hopes of forcing doctors at a Palm Beach hospital to treat his wife with an unproven experimental drug for her severe COVID-19 infection.
Ryan Drock, 41, filed the lawsuit at the Palm Beach County Circuit Court six weeks after his wife, 47-year-old Tamara Drock, was admitted to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in a medically-induced coma and tethered to a ventilator.
Tamara Drock was diagnosed with COVID-19, admitted to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit on Aug. 23 and placed on high flow oxygen. Court records say doctors treated her through the hospital's COVID-19 protocol, which includes Remdesivir, steroids and antibiotics.
However, on Sept. 20, her condition declined, and she was sedated, intubated, and placed on a ventilator.
After no sign of improvement and after exhausting the COVID-19 protocol, Ryan Drock requested that his wife was treated with Ivermectin, but health officials refused to do so.
Ryan Drock said he believes the drug helped him and others recover from the coronavirus. He stated that he had read stories about people, like his wife, who were seriously ill with COVID-19 and were cured after taking Ivermectin.
Court records show he offered to sign a waiver so that the hospital would not be held liable if the treatment with Ivermectin didn't work or caused other problems, but health officials refused.
"My wife is on death's doorstep; she has no other option," he said.
Ryan Drock said his wife was active and healthy prior to contracting the virus. She is a teacher at Egret Lake Elementary School in West Palm Beach and a mother of two young children.
Drock said he hopes Circuit Judge James Nutt will hear his request in a meeting scheduled for next week.
The lawsuit is similar to a suit that was filed in Ohio earlier this year. A judge eventually ruled that the hospital was not obligated to treat the intubated patient with Ivermectin.
Ivermectin is a drug typically used to treat parasitic infections, like lice.
According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ivermectin should not be used as a treatment against COVID-19 outside of a clinical setting.
However, in recent months, farm supply stores reported a widespread shortage of a version of the drug meant for large animals, like horses and cows. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have said the use of those farm drugs has led to an increase in calls to poison control centers.
A clinical trial is underway to determine if Ivermectin and other drugs can be effective against COVID-19.
"In this trial, we're actually dosing the medication based on the patient's weight, and we're low-dosing it based on the desired drug concentration that we need to treat the infection," says Dr. Rowena Dolor, one of the researchers of a government-funded trial.
To learn more about COVID-19 clinical treatment trials, click here.
This story was originally published by Monica Magalhaes on Scripps station WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.