Being Discussed within the NESCAC 2020 Forum
2016 Bates alum and two-time All-American lacrosse athlete Jack Allard, 25, is currently in critical condition after contracting COVID-19.
A native of Ridgewood N.J., Jack fell ill on March 13 with symptoms including vomiting, back pain and a fever; three days later, he was hospitalized. Now, after more than a week Jack is in a medically induced coma, breathing with the help of a respirator and waiting for approval to try a potentially life-saving experimental drug, The New York Times reports.
In order to be able to take this drug, Remdesivir, Jack needed a confirmed COVID-19 test. However, as days passed and Jack’s condition worsened, his family soon became desperate. According to the Daily Voice, his family reached out to Congressman Josh Gottheimer, hospital administrators and the director of the CDC to expedite the testing process.
A second test was sent to a different lab last Saturday, and Jack finally received a positive confirmation for COVID-19 later that day, almost five days after the initial test. However, at this time, access to Remdesivir had been halted.
Gilead, the company which administers Remdesivir, is currently working on changing its application process in order to deal with the high volume of requests. While making the shift to a broader approach, Gilead has suspended its individual compassionate use access program. As an exception, pregnant women and children under 18 may still apply for the drug.
The status of Jack’s request is unknown, and there is no indication by Gilead whether they will provide him access to Remdesivir.
Sometime last night or early this morning, Jack was flown to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for intense drug therapy.
“[The suspension of Gilead’s individual-use access program] is leaving hundreds of other patients suffering from extreme symptoms of COVID-19 without treatment that could save their lives — including some patients in North Jersey, like 25-year-old Ridgewood native Jack Allard who is currently suffering from extreme COVID-19 complications,” Congressman Gottheimer wrote in a statement Monday night.
The New York Times reported yesterday that many people like Jack are sitting in limbo as they wait for their requests to be approved. Although this drug has not been clinically proven to help patients suffering from the Coronavirus, some critically ill patients have shown remarkable improvement after taking the drug. At this point, it’s a desperate last resort.
According to Jack’s mother Genny Allard, he was in good health and had no known underlying conditions which would have put him at increased risk to severe complications.
Almost 3,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Jersey as of March 23; less than one percent of cases have been fatal. According to the CDC, only 20 percent of people who are hospitalized in the U.S. are between the ages of 20-44 years.
During his time at Bates, Jack was a decorated lacrosse player and key scorer on the team. In his junior year, he received All-American Honorable Mention by the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (ILA), ranked third in the NESCAC for goals and was named First Team All-New England. He was a USILA/Nike All-American Team Honorable Mention and USILA Scholar All-American in his senior year.
Jack graduated from Bates as a Politics major with a Rhetoric minor. He currently works as an equity analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Manhattan, N.Y.
His sister Katie Allard ’19 also attended Bates and played on the women’s lacrosse team.
In the preface to an interview with Jack in 2016, Bates Student staff writer Gerald Nelson ’17 wrote, “He’s very insightful and comes from a family who prides themselves on their love for one another and passion for athletics. One of the things that stuck out the most in our conversation is how much of a team player he is; especially given the immense talent he has, his team-first mentality is really impressive.”
This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.