PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A Loxahatchee man has filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County circuit court six weeks after his wife was admitted to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and placed in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator.
Ryan Drock, 41, wanted health care officials to treat his wife, Tamara Drock, 47, with ivermectin, a drug approved to treat people with parasitic worms but not for those critical with COVID-19.
Tamara Drock was diagnosed with the virus and admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit on Aug. 23 and placed on high flow oxygen. Court records said she was treated with the hospital's COVID-19 protocols, which include 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 be treated with ivermectin. But health officials refused to.
Drock said he believes the drug helped him and others recover from COVID-19. 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 showed 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," Drock said.
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.
According to the U.S. 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.
A clinical trial is underway to determine if ivermectin, as well as 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," said Dr. Rowena Dolor, one of the researchers of a government-funded trial.
The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 1 against Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Drock said he hopes Judge James Nutt will hear his request in a meeting scheduled for next week.
To learn more about COVID-19 clinical treatment trials, click here.