Skip to comments.Horseheads woman battling for guardianship of vegetative husband
Posted on 11/09/2009 3:50:52 PM PST by wagglebee
t's a custody battle that rages on in Horseheads. Sara Harvey is fighting to be the guardian of her husband, Gary, who has been in a vegetative state since 2006. But a judge has ruled she is unfit to take care of him properly. Our Vince Slomsky tells us just some of this complex story and what might happen next.
We had a beautiful relationship. Just loving," said Sara Harvey.
Gary was a relatively healthy person, until January 21st, 2006. He had a heart attack inside their home in Horseheads and fell down these stairs suffering a severe brain injury. From that day on, he's been in a vegetative state relying on others to keep him alive. The majority of his time has been spent in the Chemung County Nursing Facility, but Sara says they do not provide him with the care he needs.
"I feel that he gets inadequate care. I mean with over four dozen ER trips, how would you think," said Sara.
But Sara is actually not even her husband's guardian, the county of Chemung is. A judge ruled she was unfit to care for her husband in 2007, and she says it all stems from an incident on September 16th, 2006. She said her husband's tracheotomy tube was defective, but the nurse at the nursing facility would not replace it.
"I cut it, and I used their scissors, and I told her I was going to do that and she didn't stop me. I wasn't trying to harm him in any way, I was trying to bring the matter to attention," she said.
A few hours later, the tube was replaced. But Chemung County Attorney Bryan Maggs says there were other incidents as well, such as wheeling him outside and placing flavors in his mouth.
There were other instances where she was acting completely inappropriately, in a, well I'll just leave it at that, in an inappropriate way trying to do things with her husband that he was obviously incapable of doing physically," he said.
Sara says on May 29th of this year, the county and the ethics committee at St. Josephs Hospital decided to end Gary's life by removing his feeding tube.
"The doctors consulted and discussed what his medical needs were and what course of procedure would be most appropriate given his very severe needs and they came out with a course of action," said Maggs.
Sara says she was able to get the decision overturned but fears that it may happen again. She wants to care for Gary herself at their home and she has everything he needs to do so.
"I want my husband home for the holidays. He's a veteran. He's fought for freedom and he's denied his freedom," she said.
It is a matter likely headed back to the courts. The county attorney tells us they never wanted to be the guardians but after Sara was found unfit no other family members stepped forward. He also says Gary's condition is so severe that she would never be able to provide the care he needs.
Both sides are anticipating a court hearing soon on the guardianship battle.
They are trying to appoint a death panel.
It looks like New York is already starting to attempt death panels.
The heading “Horsehead woman” made me think the article was about that woman from “Sex and the City”
This one is “Horsehead” not “horse face.”
What does the print in bold mean?
Correction/clarification: They already have appointed a death panel. Activist judges will probably give the death panel the power to carry out their plot.
My impression was that it was those citrus flavored swabs that they have in hospitals to aid with dry mouth when fluids can’t be taken orally.
Since Terri Schiavo, the Governments roll and policy is to exterminate those that are a drain upon the treasury, while protecting Americas enemies foreign and domestic in the destruction of the Constitution.
I wonder if the “let the spouse decide” crowd will weigh in.
Let’s get this straight: The county wants to starve and dehydrate him to death but thinks SHE would be a bad guardian because... well because of ANYTHING?!!!
If they do, it will be to tell us that in this case, the spouse should have no say, because she endangered her husband by preventing his murder.
It’s an odd statement. I wondered if she was giving him something like Life Savers.
Get it right people, Horseheads, not Horsehead, on the right side of the tracks from Elmira. My hometown. Can’t say I know this couple though. Freegards,
And what’s on the wrong side? Or should I not ask?
Not sure what you are talking about here..
My husband was sick for seven years, I had power of attorney along with a daughter. I cared for my hubby until his death in 2006.
At one point we would have lost control over his care had we not had POA.
Wonder why this woman did not have that?
My daughter ,SIL and Grandson lived there for about nine years. Visited there many times.
We aren't talking about a POA, we are talking about basic guardianship which the courts have taken away.
A lot of people supported Terri Schiavo's murder because her estranged and adulterous husband wanted to kill her.
>> “I cut it, and I used their scissors, and I told her I was going to do that and she didn’t stop me. I wasn’t trying to harm him in any way, I was trying to bring the matter to attention,” she said.
People need to be careful about symbolic actions, gestures, and expressions.
Oh, okay. Thanks
Let me see if I get this right. She is more dangerous to her husband than the hospital that wants to pull the plug?
Yep, you nailed it.
The state took guardianship away from his wife because she disagrees with their desire to neglect her husband.
I wish things were different, but she won’t win.
The courts side with the medical personal and the medical personal are interested in expediency.
“He also says Gary’s condition is so severe that she would never be able to provide the care he needs.”
There are no home health care aides, and medication nurses making house calls in the entire county?
He’s in a terminal condition. Is her care likely to end his life sooner than dehydrating and starving him to death over two weeks?
Or maybe they meant favors instead of flavors........
You’re right about video taping things she didn’t like. That’s the best way to get it on the record.
HAAHAHAHA! Where do you guys find those pictures?