Elgin woman dies of COVID-19 amid family's court battle for access to ivermectin

  • Maria Abbinanti has died of COVID-19 while her husband, Sebastian, is in critical condition at Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. Their doctors and family members wanted the Elgin couple to be treated with ivermectin.

    Maria Abbinanti has died of COVID-19 while her husband, Sebastian, is in critical condition at Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. Their doctors and family members wanted the Elgin couple to be treated with ivermectin. Submitted photo

  • Jean Meyer of Elgin, a retired nurse, rallies outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday after a Kane County judge denied a request to allow an Elgin couple fighting COVID-19 to be administered the drug Ivermectin. Maria Abbinanti died early Wednesday, and her husband, Sebastian, is still hospitalized.

    Jean Meyer of Elgin, a retired nurse, rallies outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday after a Kane County judge denied a request to allow an Elgin couple fighting COVID-19 to be administered the drug Ivermectin. Maria Abbinanti died early Wednesday, and her husband, Sebastian, is still hospitalized. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • Maria Faso, aunt of Maria Abbinanti, listens as a prayer is read during a rally in honor of Sebastian and Maria Abbinanti outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday.

    Maria Faso, aunt of Maria Abbinanti, listens as a prayer is read during a rally in honor of Sebastian and Maria Abbinanti outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • Sabina Bosell of Downers Grove holds a sign in honor of Maria and Sebastian Abbinanti outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday.

    Sabina Bosell of Downers Grove holds a sign in honor of Maria and Sebastian Abbinanti outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • Community members, friends and family rally in honor of an Elgin couple fighting COVID-19 outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday.

    Community members, friends and family rally in honor of an Elgin couple fighting COVID-19 outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin on Wednesday. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • Community members, friends and family rally in honor of Maria and Sebastian Abbinanti on Wednesday after a Kane County judge denied a request to allow the drug Ivermectin be administered to fight their COVID-19 infection.

    Community members, friends and family rally in honor of Maria and Sebastian Abbinanti on Wednesday after a Kane County judge denied a request to allow the drug Ivermectin be administered to fight their COVID-19 infection. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 12/22/2021 10:14 PM

An Elgin woman who had been on a ventilator fighting COVID-19 and whose family sought to have the controversial drug ivermectin administered to her died Wednesday.

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell confirmed that Maria Abbinanti died at Amita St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin around 2 a.m. Wednesday. She was 40 years old.

 

Her husband, Sebastian Abbinanti, 41, who is also battling the virus, remains hospitalized. They have three boys, ages 12, 9 and 4.

Attorney Patrick Walsh filed an emergency motion Dec. 15 in Kane County on behalf of the couple seeking ivermectin, a treatment their doctor and family members hoped could help them. But on Friday, Kane County Judge Robert Villa denied the temporary order that would have allowed access to the drug.

Walsh responded by filing an expedited appeal of the order denying the temporary restraining order. The hospital had two days to respond to the appeal, and then the court would rule within five days after that. No arguments will occur as part of this expedited appeal.

A rally was held Wednesday morning in support of the Abbinanti family and allowing the couple's physician, Dr. Sergei Lipov, to administer ivermectin.

As news of the death of Maria Abbinanti spread, tears streamed down the faces of community members, friends and family as they gathered outside Amith Health St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin.

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We're trying to "make sure these kids don't become orphans," said organizer Chrissi Bretz of Geneva.

Ivermectin is a drug approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms, head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has not approved or authorized the drug for use in preventing or treating COVID-19, according to FDA.gov, which also states that it has not been proven safe or effective in these cases.

A different formulation of the drug is used to treat or prevent parasites in animals as well.

"The hospital is interfering with the doctor-patient relationship and usurping Dr. Lipov's authority to prescribe care for his patient," according to Walsh's filing.

In a court filing, Lipov said he had consulted with a physician working in the ICU, and both doctors agreed that it is "very reasonable to initiate this drug in view of poor prognosis" for the couple.

However, when the doctors attempted to write the prescription, they were told that it is against Amita Health and the hospital's policy to administer the drug for treatment of COVID-19 patients, according to a court filing.

Ivermectin was taken out of the electronic prescription system and cannot be written at all, Lipov said in the document.

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