Sunday, October 10, 2004

FACTS VERSUS LIES...... BY CHERYL FORD RN

Dear Friends of Terri:

On October 20, 2003, Michael Schiavo offered his comments about Terri in an article put forth by Tampa Bay Online.

From Terri's medical records, I have compiled a review of how the facts were actually stated by Terri's health care providers versus the statements made by Michael Schiavo.

What you are about to read depicts the lies from Terri's estranged husband as he has consistantly portrayed them in the Florida courts in order to rationalize HIS desires to cease all of Terri's therapies and to remove her feeding tube and have her die by starvation and dehydration.

I warn you, what you are about to read is not only sad, but extremely tragic.

Every day Terri is forced to remain under the guardianship of Michael Schiavo, she is deprived of the many available therapies due her. Her life remains in constant jeopardy.

I, as a Registered Nurse, patient advocate, and friend of Terri ask you to please join me in my Fight4Terri by sharing her story with as many people as you know and by supporting her foundation @ www.terrisfight.org


Respectfully,

Cheryl Ford RN
Fight4Terri@aol.com
www.Fight4Terri.blogspot.com



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FACTS VERSUS LIES
BY CHERYL FORD RN
FIGHT4TERRI@AOL.COM
WWW.FIGHT4TERRI.BLOGSPOT.COM

Statement By Michael Schiavo

Published: Oct 20, 2003
Statement By Michael Schiavo - from Tampa Bay Online  
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-- 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 --Meadowbrok California. Noted increased alertness, turns head toward voice, turns head from tactile stimulation.  sucking, and rooting response to olfactory stimulation.  spontaneously vocalied.  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.

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-- No therapy per husbands orders. Dr's orders over ridden.  Patient kept in isolation, no stimulation.
FACT-- APRIL 1995-JULY 1996 -- CARLA SAUER AFFIDAVIT MICHAEL ORDERS NO REHAB; NO RANGE OF MOTION;NO NOTHING. 
PATIENT ALERT AND ORIENTED, SPOKE REGULARLY "MOMMA, "MOMMY' "HELP ME"

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.

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.

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

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, ETC 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 malpractice settlement.
Nov - Terri awarded $1.4 million in malpractice trial.
Nov - Michael Schiavo awarded $600,000 in malpractice trial.


1993
Feb - Michael Schiavo denies Terri recommended rehabilitation treatment.


Article written in its entirety below:
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.

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