SUGAR LAND, Texas -- A 74-year-old man, whose family sought a court order against a Texas hospital over his COVID-19 treatment, has died.
Pete Lopez of Richmond had been at Memorial Hermann in Sugar Land, Texas for almost a month battling COVID-19. According to his family, he was put on a ventilator on Aug. 19.
His family, who has been appealing with Memorial Hermann to administer, won a court order for the hospital to treat him with the controversial drug.
Despite the family's court order win, they claimed the hospital refused to administer the drug.
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His family described him as the patriarch of the family. The Vietnam War combat veteran suffered a heart attack a few years ago, but his family said he's otherwise healthy. In fact, they couldn't get him to slow down.
Lopez's granddaughter, Gabrielle Snider, said they exhausted all options. That's why they pushed for the hospital to use ivermectin.
The FDA has approved its use in people for the treatment of specific parasitic diseases, but not COVID-19.
According to Snider, Lopez was previously prescribed ivermectin by VA Medical Center, but he was admitted to the hospital before he was able to take it.
"He had the prescription with him at the hospital and the doctors knew that," Snider told our sister station KTRK on Sunday. "We have been asking them to administer it since day one."
A judge signed a court order in favor of the family on Sept. 3, according to documents.
Despite the ruling, Lopez still has not received the drug, according to his family.
Over the weekend, Memorial Hermann released the following statement in regard to the case:
"Memorial Hermann is unable to comment on pending litigation or specific cases due to patient privacy laws. It is important to note that physicians diagnose and treat patients consistent with best medical practices. It is the role of medical providers to determine safe and effective courses of treatment for patients, and then assist patients and their loved ones, if applicable, to make informed decisions about treatment options available to them. The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Data currently available does not demonstrate that ivermectin is safe or effective against COVID-19 infection. Outside of ongoing clinical trials, the FDA, CDC and WHO discourage the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
Lopez's family did not wish to say whether Lopez was vaccinated or not.
According to the family's attorney, Ralph Lorigo who won similar cases in New York and Chicago, Memorial Hermann filed an appeal. However, Lorigo said the hospital was still violating the court order.
It's not immediately known how Lopez's family intends to approach legal matters following their loved one's death.