WATERBURY, CT. (WFSB) - Paul Sblendorio a Waterbury man with COVID is clinging to life tonight.

His family wants to try ivermectin, a drug that’s used to treat horses for worms. Some people say it can treat humans with COVID.

It’s a controversial drug and the say doctors at Waterbury hospital are refusing it.

A box of Ivermectin from a farm supply store is six dollars.

The dosage, potency, all of it, is meant for removing worms in horses.

There are reports of people taking the drug at this dosage who are getting sick.

Some doctors said a smaller dosage has helped COVID patients and this family feels there’s really nothing left to lose.

His brother, Angelo Sblendorio said, “Paul started with a sore throat.”

That was late August. Paul is not vaccinated and in a matter of days, Angelo said the 55-year-old was gasping for air. “He actually couldn’t talk without coughing.”

On August 29th, this father of a five-year-old, was admitted to Waterbury Hospital.

“I think he knew he had COVID at that point,“ said Angelo Sblendorio.

Last night, doctors told the family to prepare for the worst.

“It was basically described at the goodbye call. There was nothing more they could do for him,” said Angelo Sblendorio.

Tonight, the Sblendorio family said Paul is barely holding on. They’re in obvious agony over Paul’s condition, but they said they feel especially helpless because since he was hospitalized late last month, they’ve pleaded with doctors at least 15 times to try the drug ivermectin.

“Since there’s nothing to lose, would you please consider trying the Ivermectin at this point. He said that he didn’t think it would help and it might hurt and that’s where we left it,” said Angelo Sblendorio.

Sblendorio knows the drug is controversial. It’s a de-worming drug intended for animals, but there are doctors, like Joseph Varon. He’s the chief of critical care and the COVID-19 unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston.

He uses it as part of a cocktail to treat COVID and said he’s found success.

Varon said, “This is an agent that has been studied in human doses and as long as you don’t go to your closest veterinarian store and buy the veterinarian product, you’ll be ok.

He states there are some countries that are using Ivermectin as part of their COVID-19 treatment. “Japan for example. Japan recently embraced it and said, it’s part of the treatment against COVID-19.”

Japan has not approved of Ivermectin to be used to treat COVID-19.

In America, the CDC, the FDA, and many other doctors have warned against misusing ivermectin.

Dr. Arthur Caplan-Medical Ethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, “You don’t want to use something intended to kill worms in animals, at animal doses.”

Waterbury Hospital, when asked for their policy on Ivermectin, said, “Treating a patient with Ivermectin would be investigational and potentially harmful. Until there’s more data available, Waterbury Hospital will not be using this medication for the treatment of COVID-19.”

The Sblendorio family said they are wishing the hospital would continue to research. “If they’ve exhausted all means and there’s information out there that this drug can help people, why not try to use it and see what happens?”

Many doctors are warning against Ivermectin altogether, but especially if it’s in this concentrated form.

Again, doctors on both sides of the argument say this is dangerous at these levels.

Pauls’ family was hoping to have him transferred to a different hospital but were told he’s not stable enough to do that.

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