Skip to comments.Last Visit Narrative (With Terri Schiavo)
Posted on 03/19/2005 7:15:55 PM PST by cpforlife.org
Last Visit Narrative
by Attorney Barbara Weller
When Terri Schiavos feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. I had been visiting Terri throughout the morning with her family and her priest. As part of the legal team working throughout the previous days and nights to save Terri from a horrific fate, I was very hopeful. Although the state judicial system had obviously failed Terri by not protecting her life, I knew other forces were still at work. I fully expected the federal courts would step in to reverse this injustice, just as they might for a prisoner unjustly set for executionalthough by much more humane means than Terri would be executed. Barring that, I was certain that sometime around noon, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services would come to the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park and take Terri into protective custody. Or that federal marshals would arrive from Washington D.C, where the Congress was working furiously to try to save Terri, and would stand guard at her door to prevent any medical personnel from entering her room to remove the tube that was providing her nutrition and hydration.
Finally, I was sure if nothing else was working, that at 12:59,just before the hour scheduled for Terris gruesome execution to begin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would at least issue a 60-day reprieve for the legislative bodies to complete the work they were attempting to do to save Terris life and to make sure that no other vulnerable adults could be sentenced to starve to death in America. I had done the legal research weeks before and was fully convinced that Gov. Bush had the power, under our co-equal branches of government, to issue a reprieve in the face of a judicial death sentence intended to lead to the starvation and dehydration of an innocent woman when scores of doctors and neurologists were saying she could be helped.
All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning. The mood in her room was jovial, particularly around noontime, as we knew Congressional attorneys were on the scene and many were working hard to save Terris life. For most of that time, I was visiting and talking with Terri along with Terris sister Suzanne Vitadamo, Suzannes husband, and Terris aunt, who was visiting from New York to help provide support for the family. A female Pinellas Park police office was stationed at the door outside Terris room.
Terri was sitting up in her lounge chair, dressed and looking alert and well. Her feeding tube had been plugged in around 11 a.m. and we all felt good that she was still being fed. Suzanne and I were talking, joking, and laughing with Terri, telling her she was going to go to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress, which meant that finally Terris husband Michael would be required to fix her wheelchair. After that Suzanne could take Terri to the mall shopping and could wheel her outdoors every day to feel the wind and sunshine on her face, something she has not been able to do for more than five years.
At one point, I noticed Terris window blinds were pulled down. I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terris eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terris mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terris feeding tube. We joked that we didnt want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terris mother did not come back into the room. This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terris last two feeding tube removals.
Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more. At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.
The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terris bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, Terri if you could only say I want to live this whole thing could be over today. I begged her to try very hard to say, I want to live. To my enormous shock and surprise, Terris eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, Ahhhhhhh. Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, Waaaaaaaa. She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzannes husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terris door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terris face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, I want to live.
Suzanne and I continued to visit and talk with Terri, along with other family members who came and went in the room, until about 2:00 p.m. when we were all told to leave after Judge Greer denied yet another motion for stay and ordered the removal of the feeding tube to proceed. As we left the room, the female police officer outside the door was valiantly attempting to keep from crying.
Just as Terris husband Michael has told the world he must keep an alleged promise to kill Terri, a promise remembered a million dollars and nearly a decade after the fact; I must keep my promise to Terri immediately. Time is running out for her. I went out to the banks of cameras outside the hospice facility and told the story immediately. Now I must also tell the story in writing for the world to hear. It may be the last effective thing I can do to try to keep Terri alive so she can get the testing, therapy, and rehabilitative help she so desperately needs before it is too late.
About four in the afternoon, several hours after the feeding tube was removed, I returned to Terris room. By that time she was alone except for a male police officer now standing inside the door. When I entered the room and began to speak to her, Terri started to cry and tried to speak to me immediately. It was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever had. Terri was looking very melancholy at that point and I had the sense she was very upset that we had told her things were going to get better, but instead, they were obviously getting worse. I had previously had the same feeling when my own daughter was a baby who was hospitalized and was crying and looking to me to rescue her from her hospital crib, something I could not do. While I was in the room with Terri for the next half hour or so, several other friends came to visit and I did a few press interviews sitting right next to Terri. I again raised her window shade, which had again been pulled down, so Terri could at least see the garden and the sunshine from her lounge chair. I also turned the radio on in her room before I left so that when she was alone, she would at least have some music for comfort.
Just before I left the room, I leaned over Terri and spoke right into her ear. I told her I was very sorry I had not been able to stop the feeding tube from being taken out and I was very sorry I had to leave her alone. But I reminded her that Jesus would stay right by her side even when no one else was there with her. When I mentioned Jesus Name, Terri again laughed out loud. She became very agitated and began loudly trying to speak to me again. As Terri continued to laugh and try to speak, I quietly prayed in her ear, kissed her, placed her in Jesus care, and left the room.
Terri is alone now. As I write this last visit narrative, it is five in the morning of March 19. Terri has been without food and water for nearly 17 hours. Im sure she is beginning at least become thirsty, if not hungry. And I am left to wonder how many other people care.
Read Previous Visits with Terri by Attorney Weller: A Visit Wtih Terri A Second Visit With Terri...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in thee.
Oh Dear Lord.....hear our prayer.
The more I think about this situation, the more upset and disgusted I become. Jeb Bush has the constitutional authority to do something now, he has the command of the state police, not the courts. He needs to take charge and issue an executive order, the hell with what some judge wants. There are moments when political consequences are secondary to doing what is morally right, and this is one of them. Jeb Bush claims he never wants to be President, but he needs to know that, whatever his true intentions are, his political future depends on what he does here. There are times when a man's entire life is judged by how he conducts himself at one single instant in time, this is Jeb Bush's time to make his place in history.
The feeding tube goes back in Monday. Terri has to go one more day with no water.
Where will the tube be installed? What if George W. Greer stands in the hospice and blocks medical personnel from putting the tube in place? When did Terri last get nutrition? Was it as early as 8 a.m. Friday?
I wonder how long George W. Greer could go without nutrition?
I don't know when she last had nutrition. Pray for her though. She should be able to make it until Monday morning (and boy, that's a horrible thing to have to say isn't it?)
I agree wholeheartedly. When judges, courts and laws are immoral, they need to be disobeyed. I see a lot of comments about law, the Constitution, states' rights, and legal this and that.
I can imagine such wrangling also went on in and after the Third Reich.
If you read this article, the author clearly states that the feeding tube was inserted around 11 am and removed at 2, or sometime thereafter.
You did read this article, didn't you?
The emperor was so pleased with the vessels he demanded more. The potter, being a poor man, had only the one pig. Knowing he (and perhaps his family) would be put to death if he disobeyed the emperor, he did the only thing he could: he put his own son in the kiln.
Remind you of Our Priorities?
A mother's "choice" is SO IMPORTANT it supercedes a baby's very life. It's THAT IMPORANT.
A husband's "guardian rights" are SO IMPORANT they supercede his wife's very life. It's THAT IMPORTANT.
Do you mean that nutrition was put through the tube for the last time about 11 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday? She can make it to Monday unless her "doctors" are giving her some kind of toxin.
By MITCH STACY
(AP) Terri Schiavo's mother Mary Schindler, right, and Terri's sister Suzanne Vitadamo speak to the...
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PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) - As a deal in Congress was worked out to have federal courts decide Terri Schiavo's fate, emotions swelled outside the brain-damaged woman's hospice room Saturday, with protesters arrested after they symbolically tried to smuggle in bread and water on her second day without a feeding tube.
President Bush changed his schedule to return to Washington from his Texas ranch on Sunday to be on hand to sign the legislation.
As supporters maintained a vigil outside the hospice, Schiavo's mother pleaded for the 41-year-old woman's life.
"We laugh together, we cry together, we smile together, we talk together," Mary Schindler told reporters. "Please, please, please save my little girl."
(AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, center, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged...
Congressional leaders announced a compromise between Senate and House Republicans that would allow the brain-damaged woman's case to be reviewed by federal courts that could restore her feeding tube.
The Senate convened briefly Saturday evening to give formal permission for the House to meet Sunday, when it otherwise would be adjourned for the Easter recess.
The plan is for the House to act on the two-page bill Sunday or just after midnight Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said the Senate then would act on the House legislation, assuming it passes the House as envisioned, and rush the bill to the president for signature into law.
"We should investigate every avenue before we take the life of a living human being," said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. "That's the very least we can do for her."
Schiavo's husband, Michael, who has fought her parents in court for years to have the feeding tube removed, urged Congress to stay out of the matter, saying he is just trying to carry out his wife's wishes.
(AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, pauses while speaking to reporters about brain-damaged...
"I feel like the government has just trampled all over my personal life," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live" Friday. "It is uncomprehensible that a government can walk all over somebody's private judicial matter, because of their own personal feelings."
The measure would effectively take Schiavo's fate out of Florida state courts, where judges ordered the feeding tube removed on Friday, and allow Schiavo's parents to take their case to a federal judge. DeLay said that would likely mean restoration of the feeding tube "for as long as this appeal endures."
The development was the latest in an epic right-to-die battle between Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and Michael Schiavo over whether she should be permitted to die or kept alive by the feeding tube.
Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist who is acting as a Schindler family spokesman, described the parents as "hopeful" that the congressional compromise would succeed. He said the parents also were concerned about the tight security in their daughter's room, which includes a police officer standing guard.
"They are so determined to kill her that they don't want mom or dad to even put an ice chip in her mouth," Terry said.
(AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged Florida woman...
Passage of the measure would require the presence of only a handful of lawmakers. Congress is on its spring recess, making it more difficult to locate lawmakers.
President Bush, who has said he favors a "presumption of life" for Schiavo, would also have to sign the bill into law. Schiavo could linger for one or two weeks if the tube is not reinserted - as has happened twice before.
The attempted compromise would mark the latest wrinkle in the long-running legal battle over the fate of Schiavo, who doctors say is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. Her husband has insisted she never wanted to live in such a condition.
"I am 100 percent sure," Michael Schiavo said Saturday on NBC's "Today." He did not respond to requests for an interview from The Associated Press.
Michael Schiavo was at his wife's bedside after the tube was removed and said he felt that "peace was happening" for her. "And I felt like she was finally going to get what she wants, and be at peace and be with the Lord," he said.
(AP) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, second right, speaks to reporters regarding brain-damaged...
About three dozen supporters of Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, maintained a vigil outside the hospice where she lives. Four people, including right wing leader James Gordon "Bo" Gritz, were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges when they attempted to bring Schiavo bread and water, which she would be unable to consume.
"A woman is being starved to death, and I have to do something," said Brandi Swindell, 28, from Boise, Idaho. "There are just certain things that you have to do, that you have to try."
Another spokesman for Schiavo's parents, Paul O'Donnell, later told reporters that they do not want supporters to engage in civil disobedience on their daughter's behalf.
"The family is asking that the protests remain peaceful," said O'Donnell, a Roman Catholic Franciscan monk.
Schiavo's parents have been attempting for years to remove Michael Schiavo as their daughter's guardian and keep in place the tube that has kept her alive for more than 15 years.
Schiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when a chemical imbalance apparently brought on by an eating disorder caused her heart to stop beating for a few minutes. She can breathe on her own, but has relied on the feeding-and-hydration tube to keep her alive.
Court-appointed physicians testified her brain damage was so severe that there was no hope she would ever have any cognitive abilities.
The case has encompassed at least 19 judges in at least six different courts.
In 2001, Schiavo went without food and water for two days before a judge ordered the tube reinserted when a new witness surfaced.
When the tube was removed in October 2003, the governor pushed through "Terri's Law," and six days later the tube was reinserted. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in September 2004 that Bush had overstepped his authority and declared the law unconstitutional.
"John Marshall has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it."
yes, Friday between 11 am and 2 PM according this eyewitness.
FIRST sentence in this article:
"""When Terri Schiavos feeding tube was removed at 1:45 p.m. on March 18, 2005, I was one of the most surprised people on the planet. """
prayer bump for Terri
There is only some small consolation in know that Judge Greer himself will one day be judged. His taxpayer-funded deputies may protect him now, but there is always The Book of Life.
What a tragic turn of events. God bless this sweet lady for writing about her visit with Terri. Very sweet and poignant. A FReeper was telling me that we can pray so hard that our prayers will cause Terri to be physically sustained until the feeding tube is reinserted. We need to be thankful for the Congress of the United States for going to all this trouble to override one out of control sadistic judge. Thank God for the Republican controlled congress; if not for them, Terri would be out of hope. I doubt the Florida senate is going to overturn themselves, those absolute creeps from hell.
And where the heck is Jeb Bush?!! I think he's the one that should have stepped in long before it even got to this and had Terri taken into protective custody so that the abuse/neglect/exploitation charges could be investigated. I'm kind of mad at him right now because Terri is suffering because of his inability/unwillingness to act decisively.
Is there any realistic way, Saundra, to get rid of these recalcitrant FL "Republican" state senators in the 2006 primaries? They appear to be lockstep followers of former Senate President the rotund Jim King of Jacksonville.
I agree with you. Jeb Bush is blowing it big time. He could have been a hero and saved an innocent person but he hesitated AGAIN. Last time, they waited for six days while Terri was starving. How long will it be this time. I guess he's waiting 'til Monday when the Congress will do his work for him. I can't believe that the legislators of Florida let the Congress of the U.S. have to do their work for them. The whole country is in an uproar because Florida state government has failed AGAIN. Sheeeeeeeeesh already!
Surely someone - or Jesus HIMSELF - is giving Terri a little water. I just hope they're not pumping her full of morphine which is deadly. They are destroying evidence (Terri). She needs to get her chance to expose the evil that has been done to her by her HINO, his attorneys and that monster of a judge. Come on, Jeb Bush, DO SOMETHING. Terri should not have to wait until Monday for God's sake!!
I guess Friday afternoon was the last time Terri was given food. This is so inhumane I can't believe it's happening in my country. This is very shameful. I feel so sorry for Terri and her family. God bless them.
Guess Terri will starve until Monday. Just imagine: On Palm Sunday Terri will be starving. How proud Greer and Michael Schiavo and that felos character must be of themselves. Starving an innocent child of God to death on Palm Sunday in this abundant blessed nation of ours.
I can just imagine Greer studying his calendar and deciding that on Friday, March 18 - let's see maybe Terri will be dead by Easter. Yep! That's the ticket. Let's have Terri being starving during the Easter holiday season. Hee hee hee. Perfect!
She probably will be okay till Monday morning. It's better than it was.
Hang in there Terri! Help is on the way!
But why on earth should Terri have to wait 'til Monday? It's inhumane cruel and grotesque! Jeb Bush failed.
But I would not be surprised if the tube is not reinserted until Tuesday. And the Congress may yet break apart and not agree.
Certainly a convicted killer would have his reprieve by now.
Do you think Jeb fears impeachment if he acts, or does he fear MRS and Greer-Felos?
Terri will be fine. After she gets this reprieve. ALL OF US, must do SOMETHING... a writing campaign perhaps, to move off defense and onto offense: Get Greer, Felos, and most of all Michael Schiavo investigated.
So many come onto these threads saying "Greer said so and so" or "The court ruled such and such" - perfectly content that Terri is without food and water, going through a tortuous death. You won't hear words like "Constitution" and "14th Amendment" from this crowd, just "courts". Maybe there's a deficiency in the courts; I wish these folks would consider that, rather than taking the courts at face value as gospel.
It's all about him (Michael Schiavo), you see.
Jeb Bush has NOTHING TO FEAR but fear itself. Take a chance. Be brave! Take Terri into protective custody. He should not let Terri be subjected to this torture!! It's an outrage.
Activist judges like Greer must be stopped. Greer is killing an innocent child of God. He has blood on his hands. He and Michael Schiavo and George felos are spitting in God's face. Very dangerous.
Yes, and it was MRS who went to the "government" to have Terri killed. What a hypocrite!
i. juicial corruption
ii. terri's case
a. Defense of her life (what we've been talking about all this time)
b. Justice for her being in the state she's in.
B) Action plan
i. My idea: Raise a fund - all of us - to hire the highest-profile, most expensive pro-life attorney in the nation to take this case. Find a hole in the legal webbing in which Michael has entwined himself, get to the real evidence, get that bone scan that Greer ruled "interesting" but irrelevant, and investigate this cruel, selfish man (Michael I mean, although I can understand if you thought Greer :-) )
All of this assumes an aura of suspicion around Michael. We need to gather all the evidence all of us have posted, verify its authenticity, and present this to the new legal team, and move forward with the charges or spousal abuse and attempted homicide
That gets us from defense (saving Terri's life) to offense (findout out why we've been trying to save Terri's life - why she's braindamaged and laying in a bed in Hospice).
It's awfully rough, and I'm hoping others can add to this. I fear if we don't do this now, Terri may not get another reprieve. Thoughts?
Terri's nurses suspected that Terri's low Blood Sugar levels after visits by Claus Von Schiavo were a result of him trying to put her in hyperglycemic shock with insulin injections. See affadavit on previous posts.
It's ironic that Michael Schiavo won't divorce Terri because he wants to get married to the girlfriend in a Catholic Church. As if.
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