KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man whose mother sued Olathe Medical Center to compel the hospital to treat him with ivermectin died from COVID-19 complications last week.
Deke Belden, 41, died on Dec. 13 after being hospitalized for two weeks. He was under sedation for treatment of pneumonia related to a COVID-19 infection.
Belden’s physician had approved treatment of COVID-19 with ivermectin after he was diagnosed in November. He used a private supply that belonged to his mother, Sherri Belden.
But Olathe Medical Center stopped treatment with ivermectin — an anti-parasitic most often used to treat heartworm in livestock — after he was admitted Nov. 27 through the emergency room.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or recommended treating COVID-19 with ivermectin, though its use as a treatment has gained traction primarily among anti-vaxxers.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory in August 2021, warning of an increase in cases of ivermectin overdoses.
Sherri Belden, acting under power of attorney with her son sedated, sued Olathe Medical Center in Johnson County District Court on Dec. 6, seeking a court order to allow her son to be treated with ivermectin as “the last, best chance of survival from this dread disease.”
She had previously brought in some of her ivermectin and tried to administer it to Deke Belden in the hospital, but Olathe Medical Center staff intervened.
"The physicians and caregivers at Olathe Medical Center take an evidence-based approach to COVID-19 treatment, just as with any other illness or condition," the hospital said in a statement to KSHB 41 News last week. "The patient’s best interest is always the top priority with consideration of all appropriate treatment options as guided by certifying medical boards."
A judge rejected a temporary emergency injunction on Dec. 8.
According to his obituary, originally from St. Elmo, Illinois, Deke Belden “worked for the family oil business for several years before moving to Kansas,” where he met and married his wife.
A celebration of Deke Belden’s life is planned. In his honor, memorial contributions may be made to the Kansas City Dream Center.
Tod Palmer at KSHB first reported this story.