Sunday, August 01, 2004

FACTS VERSUS MICHAEL SCHIAVO

FACTS VERSUS MICHAEL SCHIAVO
BY
CHERYL FORD RN
Fight4Terri@aol.com
Visit www.terrisfight.org for updates about Terri


Michael Schiavo, Terri's estranged spouse and guardian repeatedly has motioned to the court to pull Terri's feeding tube stating Terri is in a persistent vegetative state and would not want to live.

Terri's family, the Schindlers', have argued Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state and based upon her Catholic faith and love for life, they
have stated that Terri does indeed wish to live!

On two occasions, Schiavo, has been successful in having Terri's feeding tube removed.

In October 2003, Terri suffered for 7 days while being starved to death before the Governor of Florida was able to issue an executive order on October 22, 2003, introducing Terri's Bill. An order was then sent by the Governor for all health care personnel and medical facilities caring for Terri, to immediately reinsert Terri's feeding tube. Terri's feeding tube was reinserted after 7 days of no food and water.

October 2003, Michael Schiavo announced his plans to sue Governor Bush and then challenged Terri's Law as unconstitutional.

Michael Schiavo, for the last nine years has been residing with his concubine. He has maintained a common household with her and together they have produced two children.

In November of 1992, Terri was awarded 1.4 million in a malpractice settlement so to be able to receive all the therapy and medical attention she would need. Michael Schiavo, as Guardian, maintained total control over her settlement.
A few months after Michael received the money, he began denying Terri rehabilitative care and posted a Do Not Resuscitate Order on Terri's chart.

In an effort to present the entries and facts made by various health care providers, versus the statements that were made by Michael Schiavo in an article written by Tampa Bay Online on October 20, 2003, facts have been compiled from affidavits and Terri's medical records as they were stated by Terri's health care providers.

Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003
from Tampa Bay Online

Michael Schiavo: Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed. For over 6 years, I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On Wednesday, I joined them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers are going through at this time. I feel the same loss. For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover.

FACT - 05/20/1990 ---DR. NEWHART--
The brain cells that control body function were not as seriously affected as initially diagnosed Consequently, it is anticipated that Terri should regain full use of her body.

FACT - 06/27/1990 ---- DR. BARAS--
Patient had been seen by me at College Harbor and started to make improvement. Started to show some vocalization where she will say "no" and occasionally has some voluntary movement on command of eyes and mouth as reported by husband and mother.

FACT - 06-28-1990 --- DR. THACKER
Moaning type vocalizations initially; no sign of excess secretions requiring frequent suctioning; intermittently swallows, probably swallows her saliva without any trouble.

FACT -- 07-10-1990 ---- DR. BARAS --
Purposeful movement in right upper extremity as seen by P.T. O.T. and me Flexing right elbow not as a reflex, but voluntarily.

FACT-- 08/25/1990 DISCHARGE SUMMARY FROM BAYFRONT MEDICAL. Patient did show some improvement in range of motion.

FACT -- 01/01/1991 PHYSICAL THERAPY EVAL---Turns head from noxious stimuli.

FACT -- 01/29/1991---- DR. ALCAZARAN --Meadowbrook California. Noted increased alertness, turns head toward voice, turns head from tactile stimulation. Sucking, and rooting response to olfactory stimulation. Spontaneously vocalized. Good cough. Some visual tracking.

FACT- - 02-1/1991 ---Physical Therapy Notes --
Alert throughout treatment session, responds to pain, moaning, turns head from noxious stimuli.

FACT-- 02/15/1991 --- PSYCHOLOGY NOTES WRITTEN BY PATTI SHOOK ---Terri's eye opening responses were her strongest. Terri's tactile responses were her best, with other four modalities only 1 to 2 points behind. This level of functioning is appropriate for a sensory stimulation program.

FACT-- 02/1/1992--THERAPEUTIC NOTES BY SHERRI LAGE --
Patient appeared to focus on several pictures of family for 10 seconds, appeared to slightly track to left each session, but inconsistent Quick startle response to all auditory stimuli, occasionally moves head from tactile stimuli.

FACT -- 02/20/1991-- PHYSICAL THERAPY NOTES -- Patient has made significant gains since admission in all areas of range of motion.

FACT -- 03/19/1991--- SPEECH LANGUAGE NOTES --
Occasionally responds to request to verbalize, swallow and move arms.

FACT -- 06/17/1991 --- TREATMENT PLAN REVIEW --
Vocalizing when prone in PT., occasionally will say "stop" to nurse doing procedures.

***

Michael Schiavo : Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well.

FACT-- 3/26/1991 ---Nurses Notes-
Terri's side rail on her bed found down after Michael left. When told about it, he replied that "that was their job.

FACT -- 1993 CAROLYN JOHNSON AFFIDAVIT
"No therapy per husbands orders. Dr's orders over ridden. Patient kept in isolation, no stimulation."

FACT-- APRIL 1995-JULY 1996 -- CARLA SAUER RN AFFIDAVIT
"Michael orders no rehab. No range of motion, no nothing."
"Patient alert and oriented, spoke regularly "MOMMA, "MOMMY' "HELP ME". "Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say, "When is she going to die?, "Has she died yet?" and "When is that b***h(redacted) going to die?"

FACT --MARCH 1997-SUMMER 1997 -- HEIDI LAW, CNA AFFIDAVIT
" I know that Terri did not receive routine physical therapy or any kind of therapy. I was personally aware of orders for rehabilitation that were not being carried out. Even though they were ordered, Michael would stop them."

***

Michael Schiavo: I took Terri to California. I stayed with her while doctors performed an experimental procedure to implant electrodes in her brain to stimulate its function. I spent months working with her - hopeful of a cure.
Months later, the doctors told me the electrodes were not working.

FACT: Written in St. Petersburg Times Archives
Copyright Times Publishing Co. Feb 17, 1991
"She underwent surgery, performed by Dr. Yoshio Hosobuchi of the University of California at San Francisco in December, to implant a stimulator in her brain. The brain stimulator implant was a success, said her husband, Mike. "
Mrs. Schiavo is slowly emerging from the coma at the Mediplex Medical Center, a neurological care center in Bradenton, he said. She will undergo at least a year of speech, occupational and physical therapy.

***

Michael Schiavo: I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida, which is a residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in brain injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech, and occupational therapy and testing. Finally, the doctors and therapist told me and the Schindlers they could do nothing more for her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a day to take Terri on outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate her - looking for any sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was none - ever.

FACT 03/15/1991 Therapeutic notes Laura Mizell -- Patient has displayed an increase in eye opening since last 30 day summary, Patient responses to auditory stimulation are at the point that they are almost auditorily defensive. During recent outings, rugby games kept eyes closed to and from game...beach visit she was more aroused.

FACT 03/11/1991 Summary of all departments--- 2 point increases in vocalization and eye opening, motor responses. Tactile increased 3 points. Overall her general responsiveness score increased slightly from 19 to 23.

***

Michael Schiavo: Over the years, I had three swallowing tests performed on Terri in the hope that some of the therapies would allow her to be weaned off the feeding tube. The test all showed no change, and I was advised she could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing home staff says that sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture from the swabs they use to moisten her lips.

FACT--March to mid summer 1997 -- Heidi Law Affidavit --
"Patient did not like the taste of the teeth cleaning swabs or mouthwash. Did like the smell and feel of her lotion. Liked to have her hair combed. Did not like being tucked in. She would suck on ice chips and swallow ice water, orange juice or apple juice in her washcloth to give her something nice to taste, which made her happy. On three or four occasions, I personally fed Terri small amounts of Jello which she was able to swallow and enjoyed immensely."

***

Michael Schiavo: "The reports you heard from nursing home aides that Terri was responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if they were."

March 1997- Heidi Law CNA Affidavit---
"Terri had very definite likes and dislikes, Olga (another CNA) and I used to call her "Fancy Pants" because she was so particular about certain things." "Terri reacted very well to seeing a picture of her mother which was in her room. Many times when I came on duty it would be lying face down where she could not see it." "I witnessed a priest visiting Terri a couple of times. Terri would become quiet when he prayed with her. She couldn't bow her head because of her stiff neck, but she would still try. During the prayer, she would keep her eyes closed, opening them afterward."

April 1995-July 1996 --Carla Sauer Iyer RN Affidavit ---
"When I came into her room and said "Hi Terri," she would always recognize my voice and her name, and would turn her head all the way toward me, saying "Haaaiiii" sort of, as she did. When I told her humorous stories about my life or something I read in the paper, Terri would chuckle, sometimes more a giggle or laugh."

May 2001 - Trudy Capone LPN Affidavit --
When asked if she ever observed any eye movement on Terri's behalf that would indicate Terri was following people who visited with her eyes and if she seems to really know what was going on?
Capone responded..."Absolutely! Yes, yes..why do you think Michael would instruct us to give her medication when she was on her period?"

EXCERPTS THAT WERE TAKEN FROM MICHAEL SCHIAVO'S JOURNAL
4/16/1991 -- BECAME EVERY EXCITED, CRIED, FACIAL EXPRESSION, TEARS, WHINING.
4/17/1991 -- SITTING IN A CHAIR, HOLDING LEGS TOGETHER, HOLDING HER OWN HEAD UP, RESPONSE TO EVERY NOISE SHE HEARS, TASTED EXTRACTS, SWALLOWED. MIXED UP DAYS AND NIGHTS
4/25/1991 MS TALKING TO HER, SHE THEN LIFTED HEAD OFF AND AWAY FROM CHAIR. I ASKED HER IS SHE WANTED TO GET UP. SHE NODDED. I ASKED HER A MINUTE LATER, SHE DID THE SAME MOTION.
4/26/1991 JOHN (NURSE) SAYS EVERY TIME HE IS HERE TERRI SQUEEZES HIS HAND WHEN ASKED.
5/1/1991 - LAST FEW DAYS TERRI HAS BECOME A LITTLE MORE ALERT. SHE WILL MOVE HER HEAD FROM SIDE TO SIDE. WHEN OUT IN WHEELCHAIR, SHE WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP FOR THE PERIOD SHE IS OUT. STILL MIXES UP DAYS AND NIGHTS.
5/2/1991- ASLEEP, SEEMS TO DO A LOT OF DREAMING, HEAD WILL MOVE BACK AND FORTH, TOES, LEGS, ARMS, FINGER, ECT WILL DO ALOT OF MOVING. TERRI DOES REAL WELL WITH HER EARLY MORNING STROLL.
SHE WILL HOLD HER OWN HEAD UP (UNLESS SHE FALLS ASLEEP) SHE WILL WATCH ALL THE NURSES DO THEIR THING.

1992
Aug - Terri awarded $250,000 in out of court settlement.
Nov - Terri awarded $1.4 million in malpractice trial.
Nov - Michael Schiavo awarded $300,000 in malpractice trial.

1993
Feb - Michael Schiavo denies Terri recommended rehabilitation treatment.

On August 31, 2004, a hearing will be before the Supreme Court in Tallahassee to determine whether Terri's Law is unconstitutional. If the law is declared unconstitutional, there will be no laws in place to prevent Michael Schiavo from having the freedom to pull Terri's feeding tube once again.

Please write to your President, Senators and Local Press.
Save a life! Please help us to SAVE Terri! Thank you.

***
Below is the above article in its entirety:
Statement By Michael Schiavo
Published: Oct 20, 2003


Last Wednesday, my wife's feeding tube was removed. For over 6 years, I have struggled with the Schindlers in court. On Wednesday, I joined them in grief. I understand what the Schindlers are going through at this time. I feel the same loss.

For years after this happened to Terri, I tried desperately to find a cure for her. I went from one doctor to another. Almost all of them told me there was no possibility she would recover. Any doctor that gave me a glimmer of hope that some new treatment or therapy would work was given free reign with Terri. I would do anything to make her well.

I took Terri to California. I stayed with her while doctors performed an experimental procedure to implant electrodes in her brain to stimulate its function. I spent months working with her - hopeful of a cure. Months later, the doctors told me the electrodes were not working.

I took Terri to Mediplex, in Bradenton, Florida, which is a residential rehabilitation facility that specializes in brain injuries. She spent months there in intensive physical, speech, and occupational therapy and testing.

Finally, the doctors and therapist told me and the Schindlers they could do nothing more for her. I hired a private duty aide 8 hours a day to take Terri on outings to parks and museums trying to stimulate her - looking for any sign of life, any flicker of hope. There was none - ever.

Over the years, I had three swallowing tests performed on Terri in the hope that some of the therapies would allow her to be weaned off the feeding tube. The test all showed no change, and I was advised she could not swallow food. Even now, the nursing home staff says that sometimes Terri gags and chokes on the moisture from the swabs they use to moisten her lips.

The reports you heard from nursing home aides that Terri was responsive years ago are not true. I would give anything if they were. Those aides cared for Terri during the time that I was desperately seeking a cure for her. I was so frustrated that I could not help Terri. I am sure that I was sometimes unkind to the aides - even shouted at them. This was not because I wanted Terri dead, but because I desperately wanted her alive. I blamed myself because I could not bring her back.

It seemed to me, during that time, that the aides never did enough for Terri. Some days they did not put her makeup on. I would storm into the nursing home insisting that they do so. I knew Terri always wanted to look her best. Sometimes, the aides did not get her dressed and sitting up until late in the morning. They did not always get her hair combed. They sometimes failed to give her vitamins and medications on time. At each of those failures, I became enraged and lashed out. I felt so helpless. Each small infraction reminded me how powerless I was to really help Terri. I admit that I yelled at the aides and I am now deeply sorry for that behavior. Much like the Schindlers now, I stubbornly resisted and suggestion that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and would never get better.

I never wanted Terri to die. I still don't. After more than seven years of desperately searching for a cure for Terri, the death of my own mother helped me realize that I was fooling myself. More important, I was hiding behind my hope, and selfishly ignoring Terri's wishes. I wanted my wife to be with me so much that I denied her true condition.

Terri told me on several occasions before this happened that she would not want to live in her current condition. If we had been older, I am sure she would have signed a living will making it clear that she did not to be kept alive on tubes and machines. She never had the chance.

That left me to carry out her wishes. It has been hard. In fact, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. In the end, I did what I believe Terri would have wanted me to do.

Some people do not agree with the decisions the court made to remove Terri's feeding tube. I struggle to accept it myself. But I know in my heart that it is right, and it is what Terri wants. There is no longer any realistic hope of Terri's recovery. Perhaps there never was, but I had to try - just as the Schindlers have tried. The reality is that Terri left us 13 years ago, and none of us can bring her back.

Terri's parents and family may visit with her as much as they choose in the days to come. I, and my friends and relatives, will be there as well to spend time with Terri, as we all grieve. Please pray for us all.