ELGIN, Ill. — The family of a suburban man who is seriously ill with COVID-19 has filed an emergency appeal trying to force doctors to treat him with the controversial drug ivermectin.
Sebastrian Abbinanti and his wife Maria both tested positive for COVID-19 last month. The Elgin couple, who are in their 40s and have three young sons, were both put on ventilators and have been in the ICU at AMITA Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin for three weeks, according to their family.
Their family has been fighting to keep them alive at all costs.
On Tuesday, Maria Abbinanti died.
Dozens of people gathered together outside the hospital Tuesday to rally around the family. Attorney Patrick Walsh joined them. He filed an emergency motion on behalf of the couple last week seeking ivermectin.
It’s a controversial drug that family members hoped could help them.
“The family had agreed to waive any liability against the hospital, its employees and anyone involved with administering ivermectin to Maria and Sebastrian,” Walsh said. “But the administrators at the hospital still declined to allow it.”
AMITA Health has a blanket policy against treating COVID-19 with the drug. On Friday, a Kane County judge sided with the hospital and denied the couple access to it.
“You would think with all other courses of treatment exhausted and their own treating physician suggesting it, and the family agreeing to waive liability against the hospital, there’s no conceivable reason to deny,” Walsh said.
Earlier this year, the American Medical Association called for the “immediate end” to the use of the drug ivermectin to treat COVID-19. It is used to treat parasites in animals, and sometimes humans, but is not an anti-viral and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 treatment. It can be taken topically or orally if prescribed by a doctor for its intended use, otherwise, potential side effects can be severe, including neurologic disorders, seizures, coma and even death.
On Wednesday, U.S. health regulators authorized the first pill against COVID-19, Paxlovid, the Pfizer drug combo that will be available within weeks.
The family continues to fight for Sebastrian Abbinanti.
Their attorney filed an emergency appeal, which will be decided within five days.
The family is hoping he can hold on.
A GoFundMe was started to help the Abbinanti family.
WGN News reached out to the hospital’s attorney for comment, but have not heard back at this time.