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A Florida woman credits the controversial anti-parasite drug Ivermectin for helping her father recover from Covid while clinging to life in the ICU after doctors urged her to sign a do-not-resuscitate agreement and restrained her confused dad to his bed.
David Lefevers, 71, who was fully vaccinated, contracted the virus in early March and spent three weeks quickly deteriorating at South Lake Hospital in Clermont before his daughter demanded that doctors treat him with Ivermectin.
The hospital at first refused to give her dad – who spent most of 2020 being treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma – the drug but doctors relented after the family threatened to transfer him, according to his daughter Mindy Lafevers.
Mindy, 46, told DailyMail.com she contracted Covid in mid-February. She said she isolated and sent her children to live with her parents, Priscilla and David, who live nearby.
A photo of David before he was treated with Ivermectin in the ICU of South Lake Hospital in Clermont, Florida
David, seen here shortly after his hospitalization ended, recovering from Covid-19. He would be off oxygen treatments six weeks after leaving the hospital
By the end of February, Mindy, having recovered from Covid, was watching television with David on March 1. The program was about Alaska when David asked her a question that troubled her.
‘Are we in Florida or Alaska?’ Mindy said he asked.
Mindy’s mother, Priscilla, took David to the ER where he was put on oxygen. Priscilla told DailyMail.com he was short of breath and confused.
David spent 37 years as an account executive for Hormel Foods and also spent two decades serving in the Florida National Guard.
Doctors at South Lake Hospital ran tests that night but did not run a Covid test on Lafevers, according to Mindy.
She said her father had received two jabs of the Moderna vaccine on January 6 and February 10.
Eventually, around midnight that night, they did test David for Covid and he came back positive.
David’s wife and daughter immediately lobbied for him to be treated with Ivermectin. Mindy claimed she had used the drug herself when she had Covid.
Priscilla said that when they asked for it, the infectious disease doctor she spoke to said ‘that’s not even approved for usage in the United States.’
Mindy added that they were told there was no evidence the drug would do anything. They were only going to give him Remdesivir.
She claimed that the drug had no effect and within days, David was sent to the ICU. At this time, both Mindy and Priscilla said, they were asked permission to put him on a ventilator and sign DNR orders.
Both women refused to allow the hospital to do either.
Mindy then said that on March 5, her father was restrained to his bed, having tried to remove his mask in the ICU. Both Mindy and Priscilla claim that this is a common reaction by Covid patients who are confused and that the restraints are against hospital protocol.
David Lafevers, 71, was hospitalized with Covid-19 in early March
Both Mindy and her mother Priscilla threatened to transfer David out of the hospital after they discovered he’d been restrained to his hospital bed for trying to take off his mask
Mindy Lafevers (pictured above) demanded that her father be treated with Ivermectin right away but claims doctors only approved a request when they threatened to transfer him out of the hospital
David was placed on a five-day, eight pills per day course of the controversial anti-parasite drug Ivermectin
Mindy’s son is a firefighter and EMT. She said that his fire chief called the hospital threatening to do something about it and eventually he was taken off the restraints.
Priscilla said that they threatened to transfer him to another hospital unless they would treat him with Ivermectin and convalescent plasma.
The doctors agreed and were able to get him on eight pills a day for five days from the hospital’s pharmacy. Mindy said that her father’s size determined his dosage.
Priscilla said they started seeing little improvement by the second day but really began to see him get better by the end of the five-day regimen of Ivermectin.
Eventually, they transferred him to a downtown hospital within the same health system after they were still requesting they sign DNRs, with Priscilla saying that the new facility gave him ‘totally different care.’
‘The staff seemed to be more professional, more encouraging,’ she added.
David eventually was transferred out South Lake Hospital in Clermont, Florida to a downtown Orlando hospital within the same system
David’s wife, Priscilla, said that her husband is now back to being the same outgoing, generous man that he was pre-Covid
By March 21, David went home. It took him about six more weeks to get fully off of oxygen treatments.
‘The isolation through all of this was extremely hard,’ said Priscilla, who said that at South Lake Hospital they could only visit him for 30 minutes a day. At Downtown Orlando Hospital, she could visit him for up to ten hours a day.
Priscilla said that her husband remains the outgoing, generous man he was before and likes to stay in touch with friends, family and even former co-workers, even if it’s just a phone call.
Mindy said the reason for her father’s recovery is simple.
‘The doctors said there’s no other way to explain it other than ivermectin because he had no immune system,’ she said, citing his chemotherapy treatments.
She now wants other people to be able to try the anti-parasite drug.
‘It’s so frustrating to me when a patient is dying that they’re not allowed to at least try what we know is a very safe drug that has been used all around the world in millions of people,’ she said. ‘There has to be a reason and no one can explain it to me.’
A representative for Orlando Health, which manages both hospitals, refused to get discuss Lafevers’ recovery.
‘We are unable to comment on specific patient cases due to federal privacy regulations,’ a spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
Wife of man, 52, who died of COVID a week after being given two doses of controversial Ivermectin says she thought about giving him the anti-parasite drug herself when hospital refused but she waited for the court order which delayed his treatment
Keith Smith, 52, passed away in an intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Memorial Hospital in York on December 12 after a month-long battle with COVID.
His wife, Darla Smith, had filed a lawsuit against UPMC in late November after the hospital refused to administer Ivermectin to her husband of 24 years, despite a prescription from his physician, according to FOX 43.
She had also contemplated giving him the drug herself after she picked the prescription, but she instead waited for the court order, which delayed the treatment.
Darla had advocated for an Ivermectin treatment for Smith since receiving his November 10 coronavirus diagnosis. He was placed in a medically induced coma and put on a ventilator on November 28.
On November 24, the day before Thanksgiving, Darla had picked up her husband’s Ivermectin prescription and said she thought about just giving it to him herself, as the hospital would not.
‘In the end, I didn’t do it. And that will forever be a cloak of guilt that will cover me in shame,’ she said, according to the York Daily Record.
It is unclear if Keith Smith, a devout Christian and structural engineer at a firm in Lancaster, had been vaccinated against the virus.
Keith Smith (left) died in the ICU on Sunday alongside his wife, Darla (right), and their two sons after a month-long battle with COVID. He passed one week after doctors administered controversial Ivermectin after Darla got a court order allowing him to receive the drug
A York County judge ruled on December 3 that although the hospital was not compelled to administer the drug, Darla could find an independent doctor to do so.
Smith received the drug 17 days after being admitted to the hospital and seven days before his death. Darla alleged the process of obtaining the court order delayed his opportunity for treatment by nine days.
Keith Smith’s condition deteriorated after he was given two doses of Ivermectin, leading doctors to stop administering the medication, according to the York Daily Record.
‘Tonight, around 7:45 p.m., my precious husband breathed his last breath,’ Darla wrote in a private blog post, . Keith Smith died surrounded by his wife and their two sons, Carter and Zach.
Early into his hospital stay, Darla requested doctors administer Ivermectin after his primary physician had prescribed the drug before he was admitted. But UPMC initially refused, saying the drug was not part of the hospital’s COVID protocol.
‘The hospital argued in our case that the doctor who prescribed this was not licensed in Pennsylvania, that was totally wrong,’ Darla’s attorney Ralph Lorigo told FOX 43 earlier this month.
Smith’s doctor also argued that being on a ventilator long-term was unhealthy.
‘Being on a ventilator for that length of time is extremely damaging. Your likelihood of living is substantially diminished by nearly 30 percent,’ Lorigo added.
‘Everyday this man does not get Ivermectin is a detrimental day to him.’
Ultimately, York County Court Judge Clyde Vedder ruled that the hospital did not have to administer the drug to Smith, but it must allow a doctor or registered nurse to give him Ivermectin under the guidance of the telehealth doctor who initially prescribed the treatment, the Epoch Times reported.
Darla (left) advocated for an Ivermectin treatment for Smith (right) since receiving his coronavirus diagnosis, which resulted in him being placed in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator less than two weeks after onset of illness
Darla filed a lawsuit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Memorial Hospital in York (pictured), where Smith was being treated, because they refused to administer Invermectin. A telehealth doctor prescribed the drug to Smith to treat his COVID illness before he was admitted to the hospital
According to his wife, at the time of his death Smith did not resemble the man she married.
‘The man in that bed did not look like Keith. He was gaunt, with scabs on his cheeks from three weeks of torture, having that godforsaken vent attached to his face,’ she wrote on her caringbridge.org website. ‘He had a full beard and mustache. His hair had grown like a wild man.’
Despite the lawsuit and her frustrations with UPMC, Darla still offered positive words for his care team at the hospital: ‘I still love you. You cared for Keith for over 21 days. You dosed him with the medicines the doctors prescribed.
‘You cleaned him and groomed him, moved him, propped him up, dealt with every mess, every smell, every trial. Everything. I appreciate you.’
She also said she is choosing to remember Smith as he was before COVID.
‘I don’t want to remember my husband in that awful bed with that monstrous tube stuck in his throat. I want to erase the IVs, the wires, the lines, the feeding tube. I want to erase all of this,’ she said.
According to the York Daily Record, Darla had picked up her husband’s Ivermectin prescription the day before Thanksgiving and contemplated administering it to him herself.
Ultimately, York County Court Judge Clyde Vedder (pictured) ruled the hospital did not have to administer the drug to Smith, but must allow a doctor or registered nurse to give him Ivermectin under the guidance of the telehealth doctor who initially prescribed the treatment
‘I could have given him the drug on the sly. Yes, they would have caught me,’ she wrote on her website, describing how she could’ve have prepared the medication in a sterilized cup and snuck it into the hospital.
‘In the end, I didn’t do it. And that will forever be a cloak of guilt that will cover me in shame.’
She added: ‘I waited for the stupid court order, a nine-day delay from the date I picked up the script in Paoli. Then, UPMC played nasty, vile, wicked games for two days and delayed further.’
Several hospitals nationwide have been hit with lawsuits demanding they treat COVID patients with Ivermectin.
The drug can be used in small doses to treat parasitic worm infections in humans, like head lice and scabies, but in the US is more widely used to combat roundworms and other parasites in livestock.
Conservatives including former President Donald Trump, Senator Ron Johnson and Tucker Carlson have promoted its use to treat coronavirus, despite doctors saying it has no capacity to treat viruses such as COVID.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have repeatedly warned Americans against using it to treat COVID.
‘Ivermectin has not been authorized or approved for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals,’ the FDA released in a statement earlier this year.
‘Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.’
‘Adverse effects associated with ivermectin misuse and overdose are increasing, as shown by a rise in calls to poison control centers reporting overdoses and more people experiencing adverse effects,’ the CDC echoed.
However, despite these warnings, Ivermectin has become popularly used by many to treat the virus, and was prescribed 88,000 times in one week, a 24-fold increase over a typical pre-pandemic week, according to the CDC.
The FDA has repeatedly urged people not to use the drug against the coronavirus.
‘You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death,’ the FDA warned.
Calls to U.S. poison control centers about Ivermectin exposures have increased five-fold from before the pandemic, with a drastic rise in July, according to the CDC.
The doctor halted use of Ivermectin (pictured) – which the FDA, CDC and WHO have warned against using to treat COVID – when Smith’s condition worsened. He died seven days later
Additionally, there was a significant spike in over-the-counter prescriptions of ivermectin outside of its narrow recommended use – commonly in ‘veterinary formulations’ more suited to livestock, like horses.
Some who can not get a prescription are resorting to using versions of the drugs made for animals.
Health experts, including those at the World Health Organization (WHO) which previously advised against the use of the Ivermectin and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID, continue to research proposed coronavirus treatments and offer recommendations regarding their use.
For example, last week WHO advised against using blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for patients with the illness, saying evidence has not shown the costly, time-consuming transfusions to be effective in preventing severe illness or death.
The health entity, however, has previously recommended use of some steroids for patients with severe or critical cases of COVID.