A California mother has died of COVID-19 after being denied a vaccine and monoclonal antibody treatment because she had multiple sclerosis.
Nerissa Regnier, 45, died Dec. 16 after being refused a vaccine despite asking for one seven times within six months.
According to her family’s attorneys, Regnier was also denied monoclonal antibody treatment after contacting the virus. Her family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against her health care provider, Kaiser Permanente.
“She was a very healthy mother of three managing her MS,” said attorney Annee Della Donna. According to ABC 7 Los Angeles, Regnier left behind her husband, Devin Regnier, and three children, ages 14, 16 and 19.
In February, the mom was put on a new drug regimen for MS, which suppressed her immune system. According to the lawyer, when Regnier inquired about a COVID vaccine, she was denied one because it contained a “live virus”.
“When you’re immunocompromised, you need the COVID-19 vaccine,” Della Donna explained, noting that Regnier was denied a vaccine seven times over the next six months.
In August, Regnier asked her neurologist about getting vaccinated and he told her she had to get one, according to the lawyer. “Two days later she runs over to Kaiser to get the COVID vaccine and she’s feeling symptoms so they test her and she’s got COVID,” she said.
Regnier was then given antibiotics and steroids, which is not recommended, Della Donna added. After she was denied monoclonal antibody treatment, her husband got her discharged from Kaiser’s hospital in Irvine and took her to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, but she was told it was too late.
Della Donna said Regnier was stabilized at Hoag before returning to Kaiser, where she eventually died. “Twice, this husband relied on Kaiser for medical guidance and twice they failed him. It’s a devastating case,” said attorney Eric Dubin.
“This is a public service announcement. If you’re told you shouldn’t get the vaccine because it’s a live vaccine, that’s just flat-out wrong,” Della Donna stated. “And everybody whose immune system is down needs to get the vaccine. That’s why we’re doing this. We don’t want this poor woman’s life to be taken in vain”.
“Once sick, Kaiser continued to commit medical negligence, by failing to give her the antibodies within the crucial 10 days, and instead, treating her with steroids and antibiotics, both which do not work against this deadly virus,” Della Donna told Newsweek.
In a statement, Kaiser Permanente said, “On behalf of our physicians and care givers at Kaiser Permanente, we extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nerissa Regnier for the loss of their loved one. This global pandemic has tragically affected so many families”.
“While we cannot comment on personal health information or the specific circumstances of this case, our physicians and health care professionals are dedicated to ensuring every individual treated at Kaiser Permanente receives the highest quality health care appropriate for their situation,” it read.