Skip to comments.Word for Word: 15 years ago, Terri Schiavo's 'last hope'
Posted on 03/24/2005 2:19:40 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
To date, The St. Petersburg Times has published about 500 articles about Terri Schiavo. The first one appeared almost 15 years ago, on Nov. 15, 1990.
At the time, the city of St. Pete Beach was still called St. Petersburg Beach and Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents were still speaking to one another. Here is the story, exactly as it was published.
- MIKE WILSON, assistant managing editor/Newsfeatures
* * *
ST. PETERSBURG BEACH - Mike Schiavo vividly remembers the morning of Feb. 25. Usually a late sleeper, Schiavo awakened suddenly about 5 a.m. and started to get out of bed.
"For some strange reason that day, I was just taking the covers off, and then she hit the floor," he said.
Schiavo's 26-year-old wife, Terri, had suddenly - and as yet inexplicably - suffered a loss of potassium in her body that caused her heart to stop beating. She was rushed to the hospital.
She has been in a coma ever since.
Efforts to bring Mrs. Schiavo out of her coma have become a community crusade.
The city of St. Petersburg Beach passed a resolution Tuesday declaring Feb. 17, 1991, as Terri Schiavo Day. On that day, volunteers plan to conduct a huge beach party to raise money to help pay for an experimental operation that, according to Dr. David Baras, medical director of Bayfront Rehabilitation Center, is Mrs. Schiavo's "last hope."
"The prognosis is poor. Fair at best" without any further treatment, Baras said. "This (surgery) is brand new. It's experimental. It's sort of like our last chance."
Members of the Vina Del Mar Civic Association also have asked city officials if they can name one of the new dune walkovers in Mrs. Schiavo's honor. They hope to raise money by having people buy individual planks on the walkover to be engraved with either their own name or the name of someone they wish to honor.
The operation will be performed by Dr. Yoshio Hosobuchi of the University of California at San Francisco later this month. According to Mrs. Schiavo's family, expenses for the trip to California, operation and subsequent rehabilitation will cost at least $100,000.
Mary Schindler, Mrs. Schiavo's mother, said the family is being permitted to make an initial down payment for the procedure and pay the balance as they can.
Mrs. Schiavo is being cared for at College Harbor nursing facility. Schiavo and Mrs. Schindler said they tried to care for her at home, but because Mrs. Schiavo has a tube in her stomach and is catheterized, they found the task too much for them to handle. They visit her daily.
The fight to bring Terri out of her coma also is being fought in the legal arena. Schiavo recently filed his second lawsuit against the Prudential Insurance Co. of America. Mrs. Schiavo worked for Prudential and was insured by the company. Schiavo's first lawsuit over benefits was settled in July.
Among other things, the latest suit, filed Monday, contends that Mrs. Schiavo is entitled to long-term nursing care.
"Prudential has taken the position that family should take care of those needs after a week of training. We don't think that meets terms of the contract," said Roland Lamb, Schiavo's attorney.
Mrs. Schiavo's family is paying about $3,000 a month for her care at College Harbor, Schiavo said.
Jeff Kovalesky, director of group operations with Prudential, said Wednesday he was not aware of the latest suit and declined to comment further. He said the terms of the earlier settlement prevent both parties from discussing Mrs. Schiavo's condition or benefits publicly.
Lamb said Prudential will not help pay the cost of Mrs. Schiavo's upcoming surgery because it is experimental.
Dr. Raj Narayan, associate professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine, said he is familiar with Hosobuchi's work and confirmed the experimental nature of the proposed surgery.
"There has been very little done with it in the U.S. Most of the experience has been in Japan and Europe," he said. The procedure has been performed on 120 patients worldwide, he said. Thirty percent showed some improvement, he said, adding that the operation is considered risky.
Narayan, chairman of the joint section on neurotrauma for the American Association of Neurological Surgery, said Hosobuchi is "a well-known and well-respected figure in the field."
Editor's note: A later article reported that Schiavo had surgery to implant a "brain stimulator."
That story reported: "Mrs. Schiavo is slowly emerging from the coma at the Mediplex Medical Center, a neurological care center in Bradenton, (Michael Schiavo) said. She will undergo at least a year of speech, occupational and physical therapy."
- Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.
[Last modified March 23, 2005, 14:15:38]
Hi backhoe. Thanks for all your work.
Memories diverge on what Terri wanted
Five years ago, a judge heard from those who said she wouldn't want to be on life support, and those who said she would want to fight.
By DAVID KARP, Times Staff Writer
Published March 24, 2005
Thanks for the links.
It's fascinating that they had all these specific on point conversations with Terri about what she wanted that they didn't recall for over 7 years after she fell into this condition.
The entire world is watching this entire drama unfold right before their eyes and many are absolutely horrified and chilled beyond belief at what they see.
When a great nation such as ours starts to dehumanize individuals in the way that Terri is being dehumanized in an organized effort to rationalize the killing off of those members of our society who are sick, disabled, no longer productive, "have worthless lives or lives not worth living" or "wish to die".
It is a sad day a very dark day in history.
The World's Superpower and Champion of Human Rights around the globe is starving and dehydrating a disabled woman to death and underage children who bring her water are being handcuffed and arrested.
Does that sum it up? Did I miss anything?
If China decides to put a bullet in the brain of all their retarded school children tomorrow, what can we say or do?
Next time we want to whine because Libya or Egypt is on the United Nations human rights council we better learn to bite our lip.
There is your perspective from overseas.
Yes, not until he had "moved on."
There won't be a problem with Social Security because there's going to be a lot less people to worry about paying it to should Florida's laws be upheld as they are to the end result of Terri's death.
One of the people on the side of Death believes people like Terri should not have Constitutional Rights.
What are they?
The right to due process - including staying alive
Being beaten and having no right to get the assaulter put away
Being raped and told sorry, we cannot/do not have to protect you because you're not a person
Having your tubes tied if you're not up to their standards
Being robbed and laughed at and snickered at by the police because you don't 'look' right or 'walk' right
These are rights/freedoms/PROTECTIOS that people died for so today's American's could have them
And they CAN be taken away - just at the snap of a finger
If judges can think Terri should be killed out of hand, what's to stop them from killing you, your child or someone else you love,
All on heresay,
All without proof you've even done a criminal act
All because you simply EXIST.
Oh, Terri matters alright.
One of the interesting things about this issue is how dynamic it is. The MSM wants to portray it as "us versus them, right vs. left, black vs. white"-- but it's not that cut & dried.
A vest-pocket glimpse of my wife of 20 years is here:
...and minor political differences aside, we generally see eye-to-eye on things. Always been on the side of "keep me alive if I can still enjoy life at some level, otherwise, let me go."
Now? She wants me to fight to keep her alive, regardless. And as her Avatar, I would do this. Me, I'd rather see what's on the Other Side...
Tired: SHOULD BE PROTECTIONS.
We'll all be checking out soon enough.
It's our obligation to make our wishes known - in writing.
This goes into my permanent bookmarks. VERY FEW posts earn that distinction.
That's one of the things about the Pro-Death side that astounds me... the way I put it to people is, "What's the rush? Terri can always die later."
And you're right about getting things down in writing, although there's still no substitute for a trustworthy spouse who is willing to fight for you when you can't do it.
Thank you very kindly.
That's a good idea. When in doubt, hand out copies to trusted friends and family.
Here's the original article about the brain stimulator.
It says the Schindlers don't have many assets. I thought they were going to assume total responsibility for Terri's care???
You suggest her right to live depends on her parents' ability to pay?
I suggest they could earn a lot from fund raisers and such.
Like it or not, there are huge big picture issues here regarding medical technology fast outpacing society's ability to pay.
There are all kinds of high tech artificial devices looming in the future that could keep millions going at a cost of millions for each.
That is a totally different argument.
We might even see the 'Schiavo Defense' used by someone accused of animal cruelty for starving a dog .
"Your honor, I was practicing euthanasia and have read that starving is painless and pleasant".
I have no doubt this will happen.
"But, but someone else would have been willing to care for your dog......"
One treatment for hyperkalemia (high potassium levels) is a combination of glucose and insulin. The glucose is given so the blood sugar does not fall too low, the insulin drives the extracellular potassium into the cells. Either hyper or hypo kalemia can cause cardiovascular problems.
"It's our obligation to make our wishes known - in writing."
The outcome of this case is that we are now obligated to make our wishes to LIVE known and documented legally. I can't imagine anything more insane than being required to document that I would wish to live!
From all this, hopefully, not only judges but lawsuits will be evaluated and then changes will soon follow.
What if she had said in another conversation 'If my husband cheats on me, I would want a divorce,' would the court grant her wishes with as much 'rabid' support and declare the marriage to Michael Schiavo dissolved?
I don't think he was a nurse at the time. I believe part of his testimony to get money for Terri's injuries was that he became a nurse in order to help her.
Ah yes. Thank you for making that clear.
CONTACT JEB BUSH HERE:
"Has there been a good answer as to why, Terri's husband, a nurse, didn't try to resuscitate her?"
He became a nurse to help her according to news articles, after she went into the hospital.
"attorneys had turned down the couple, who had little money."
The atty's want more money, the insurance companies don't want to pay, most everybody wants health care at lower prices. This country is fast becoming a mess.
Supposedly she did confide in coworkers, about a week before her "accident", that she wanted to divorce Michael. Somehow, that hearsay hasn't been given as much credence as the hearsay Michael introduced --- you know, where she told him she wanted to be starved to death.
Three Warnings Hester Lynch Thrale [Piozzi]
So true. So true.