Tamara Drock, a 47-year-old Florida teacher, died of Covid-19 on Tuesday. Her husband unsuccessfully sued the hospital trying to force doctors to administer Ivermectin, a veterinary de-wormer as a Covid-19 treatment.
Though sometimes used on humans for rare skin conditions, the drug has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for treating or preventing Covid-19. Ivermectin has become a popular drug of choice for anti-vax conspiracy theorists however, with many spreading false information online about its potential healing properties.
Tamara Drock’s husband, Ryan, attempted to sue the hospital when they refused to treat his wife with ivermectin, but the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center argued that no patient has the right “to demand a particular treatment,” no matter the request.
Living in Loxahatchee, Fl., Tamara Drock was a kindergarten teacher for 16 years, last working with young students at Egret Lake Elementary School.
She spent 12 weeks hospitalized at the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center before succumbing to the virus. The hospital stated that it had “exhausted all further medical treatments.”
When her condition worsened in September, her husband filed the emergency ivermectin lawsuit, claiming that the hospital refused to treat her with the drug after she was incubated and placed on a ventilator.
The couple believed that the drug would work “despite the minimal downside and side effects,” according to Ryan Drock, even though the FDA said that pre-clinical trials proved that the drug was not effective in treating Covid-19.
“Some people are taking ivermectin, a drug often prescribed for animals, to try to prevent or treat Covid-19,” the FDA wrote on Twitter back in March. “FDA has not approved or authorized ivermectin for this use, and it can be dangerous for people.”
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge James Nutt rejected Drock’s ivermectin lawsuit in October, according to AP News, citing that “allowing judges to countermand doctor’s decisions could set a dangerous precedent.”
Judge Nutt urged Ryan Drock to reach some sort of agreement with the doctor, but he argued with medical professionals even after they agreed to treat Tamara Drock with a small amount of ivermectin. According to the Drock’s lawyer, the dosage the doctors were going to use was “too low.”
Ryan Drock contracted the virus as well but has since recovered.
Tenet Healthcare, the company that owns the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, has yet to comment on the lawsuit or Tamara Drock’s passing.
“My wife is on death’s doorstep; she has no other options,” Drock wrote in the lawsuit. He even offered to sign a waiver that would take all responsibility and any liability away from the hospital if they agreed to treat her with ivermectin.
“I’m hoping they name a law after her so no one has to go through this,” Drock told AP News. “If she had walked out of the hospital, she could have had the medication.”
The family also raised over $10,690 on GoFundMe as of Wednesday night to help pay for Tamara Drock’s medical bills at the hospital.
“All money raised will help with the growing medical bills as well as the best possible treatments to help her recover and come home to her husband and children,” the GoFundMe page read.
Tamara Drock is survived by her husband, and their two children, Emily, 14 and Parker, 12.
Jake Huxtable, an attorney representing the Drock family, has allegedly filed for an appeal. He told NBC News affiliate WPTV that he took on the case pro bono, meaning that he is not being paid for his services, “to potentially help other patients in the same situation in Florida.”
“It’s the freedom of choice,” Huxtable stated. “She had the freedom to choose to accept that medical treatment and the court didn’t allow her and neither did the hospital.”