Friday, February 25, 2005

Bishops urged to take action

Bishops urged to take action, uphold Church teaching in Terri Schiavo case

Washington DC, Feb. 24, 2005 (CNA) - The American Life League is urging Catholics bishops to take up the fight to save Terri Schiavo’s life. The Florida woman, who has been severely physically and mentally disabled for the last 13 years, is being kept alive by tube feedings.

While she remains in hospital and is unable to speak, she has repeatedly responded to stimuli, such as music and her mother’s voice.

However, her husband, Michael Schiavo, has been fighting Terri’s family in court for the right to remove the feeding tubes and effectively have her starve to death. The courts recently ruled in his favor.

“We implore Catholic bishops — and in particular, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg — to take up Terri's fight in both prayer and action and to uphold Church teaching regarding the dignity of human life,” said Joe Starrs, director of American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church.

Citing the Pope’s statements in March 2004, Starrs said: "The Holy Father has made it quite clear that it is our moral obligation to provide food and water to human beings. There is no excuse for the timidity that many in the Catholic hierarchy are displaying in this life-and-death situation."

While a number of U.S. bishops have spoken out strongly in Terri's defense, the response by the Florida Catholic Conference has been minimal.

"The lack of clear, decisive action by Bishop Lynch and far too many of his brother bishops across Florida and across the nation has been more than disappointing," Starrs said in a press release.

"It is shameful that any bishop could find it acceptable to sit by virtually silent while one of the flock is brutally and publicly murdered," said Starrs. "Terri is a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We must not permit a slow, painful death to be imposed on her."

Terri Schiavo Possibly Abused

Terri Schiavo Possibly Abused, Florida Agency Wants 60 Days to Investigate
Lifenews.com ^ | February 24, 2005 | Steve Ertelt

Posted on 02/24/2005 4:15:22 PM PST by FreepinforTerri


Terri Schiavo Possibly Abused, Florida Agency Wants 60 Days to Investigate by Steven Ertelt LifeNews.com Editor February 24, 2005

Clearwater, FL (LifeNews.com) -- A Florida agency wants 60 days to conduct an investigation into new allegations that Terri Schiavo was abused or mistreated.

The Florida Department of Children & Families does not name a person responsible for the abuses, though Terri's estranged husband Michael has been accused of abusing her before her collapse 15 years ago.

The agency filed an 11 page document with Circuit Court Judge George Greer detailing why it wants to intervene in the case and shared the confidential document with attorneys for both Michael and Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

Judge Greer is expected to rule tomorrow on whether to extend the stay preventing Michael from starving Terri to death while Terri's parents pursue appeals in legal motions intended to stop the starvation.

Greer could also rule tomorrow on the agency's request for a two month delay.

Matt Davis, an attorney with the Gibbs law firm, handling legal matters for the Schindlers, told the Associated Press that the document brings up many of the concerns previously brought forward by the Schindlers.

"We are confident when someone from the outside does see how Terri has been treated, they will see she has been mistreated all these years," Davis said.

Davis indicates the DCF document does not name anyone responsible for the abuse and does not say the allegations are substantiated -- only that the agency needs time to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Michael has denied abusing Terri, even though a bone scan conducted in September 1991 shows evidence of trauma and possible physical abuse.

George Felos, the euthanasia advocate who is Michael's lead attorney, says the investigation is another attempt by Florida Governor Jeb Bush to get involved in the case when Florida courts have told him he can't.

The Schindlers have been unable to get officials to investigate the abuse contention seriously before.

In 2003, Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe looked into the matter but said the statute of limitations had run out on investigating the bone scan and that it was too old to be used.

"They have no doubt that once a legitimate review is done, the things they have been saying all along will be found to be true," Davis said.

In a statement on their web site, the Schindlers say they welcome the involvement of the DCF "in their investigation into serious and detailed allegations of abuse and to ensure that appropriate care and treatment of Terri and patients like her is being delivered."

Terri Goes Goo~Goo Eyes Over Attorney Gibbs

Terri goes Goo~Goo eyes over Attorney Gibbs
By, Cheryl Ford RN
February 25, 2005


Last night at hospice Terri's father, Robert Schindler and Attorney Gibbs visited with Terri. Mr. Schindler was the first to enter Terri's room, approaching Terri on her right. As always, Terri was delighted to see her Dad until Mr. Schindler announced that Mr. Gibbs was with him.


Mr. Gibbs moved closer to Terri's left greeting her with, "Hello Terri."
Terri, hearing Mr. Gibb's deep voice immediately turned to her left to look at him. Terri's Dad stated that once she eyed Mr. Gibbs that was the end of his visit with her because she was no longer interested in anything he had to say to her..."she was goo-goo eyes over Attorney Gibbs."

Mr. Schindler then exclaimed, "Terri, Terri, look at me. I've come here to see you as well and now you cannot take your eyes off of Attorney Gibbs, what am I chopped liver?" Terri responded with laughter to her father's comment but her eyes remained focused on Mr. Gibbs.

Bob said..."Well, Cheryl that's the last time I will be taking Mr. Gibbs along with me since my daughter did not hear anything I had to say once he had her attention."

Please Support Terri Rally/Vigils Scheduled

Today, February 25, 2005
3:00 PM --7:00 PM
Woodside Hospice
6774 102nd Avenue N. (near 66th Street N and 102nd Avenue N)
Pinellas Park, Florida.

At 3:00 PM today, meet with Father Tom Euteneuer, President of Human Life International

**** ****** ****
Saturday, February 26, 2005
10 AM - 4 PM

The neighborhood of Michael Schiavo's & Jodi Centonze's home,
protestors will gather at the corner of Marrie Court and Frisco Drive.


*** This protest will feature students from Ava Maria College***


**** ************* ****

Daily Vigil held every evening
Woodside Hospice
5:00-7:00 PM Daily
6774 102nd Avenue N. (near 66th Street N and 102nd Avenue N)
Pinellas Park, Florida.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Confusion About Terri's Web Address

Dear Friends of Terri,

As of late, there appears to be much confusion on the internet with regard to Terri's actual Foundation address.
For donations and or correspondence, Terri's foundation is located at:

Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation
4615 Gulf Blvd #104-103
St Petersburg Beach, FL 33706

Email address: www.terrisfight.org

Thank you,
Cheryl Ford RN
Fight4Terri@aol.com

Friday, February 18, 2005

Florida Right To Life

FLORIDA RIGHT TO LIFE
378 CenterPoint Circle, Suite 1250
Altamonte Springs FL 32804
407.834.5433 phone
407.834.5432 fax
frtl@earthlink.net
www.frtl.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The family of Terri Schiavo has filed a number of items this week to the courts. These can be found on www.terrisfight.org under 'court documents'. Here now are the motions with direct links to the supporting PDF documents:

Schindlers file Motion to Stay Mandate with 2nd DCA
(Papal Appeal - February 15, 2005)
http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/MtntoStayMandate-2ndDCA.pdf
Schindlers file new Motion for Stay with Judge Greer
(Guardianship - February 15, 2005)
http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/1.540b4motiontostay-2nd.pdf

Schindlers submit Notice of Deposition of Michael Schiavo
(Regards their petition to remove Michael Schiavo as Guardian - February 15, 2005)
http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/NoticeofDepo-Schiavo.pdf

Schindlers file Subpoena for the Deposition of Jodi Centozone
(Guardianship - February 15, 2005)
http://www.terrisfight.org/documents/SubpoenaCentozone.pdf

Monday, February 14, 2005

Michael Schiavo's former girlfriend speaks:

Excerpts From Cyndi Shook

Hyscience: Saturday, February 12, 2005

http://hyscience.typepad.com
/hyscience/2005/02/michael_schiavo_1.html

In a previous Hyscience post, Carole Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H.,
Psychiatrist and expert medical witness, and the author of the book,
Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them
and When to Leave Them, was quoted as saying,
"I have studied men who exhibit pathology in their
relationships with women. Profiles of the twelve different
types of bad boys are explained. Michael Schiavo fits the profile,
described in the book as the Prince of Darkness (see chapter 13).
O.J. Simpson was cited as a classic example of this type,
and there are indeed similarities between the two men.
It is especially significant to note that O.J. flew into
a homicidal rage when he realized that Nicole was totally
abandoning him, as is characteristic of these impulsive men who
most dread being abandoned by their woman. Similarly, Michael Schiavo
was likely to have known that Terri had begun making plans to divorce him,
since she had told a coworker and family member. Stalking is
characteristic of this type of man, as well. And a girlfriend
of Michael’s, Cindy, accused him of stalking her in 2001."

This is the story of "Cindy," and the deposition that she had
to be forced to give, out of her fear of Michael Schiavo.
Terri was also afraid of Michael, but of course Michael
has been hard at work to make sure that she can't give a
deposition as Cindy has!

In late 1991, 1½ years after Terri’s collapse, Michael Schiavo
became involved in an intimate relationship with Cindy Shook.
The romance continued for approximately one year. It can be
documented that the two spent a weekend at the Don Caesar hotel
in St. Petersburg Beach and they also contacted a Century 21
Realtor on the premise of purchasing a home.

In May of 1992, at the apex of the romance, Schiavo
had Terri’s 2 pet cats euthanized to clear the way
for his moving in with Cindy and her pet dog.

In the summer of 1992, Schiavo moved into his parent’s home.
We can speculate with reasonable accuracy, it was
at the instructions of his attorney, since the
living arrangement would be contrary to Schiavo’s
"loving husband" image they were projecting for the
upcoming November 1992 malpractice trial.

In April 2001, Cindy Shook (married name Brasher)
was interviewed by an investigator working in Terri’s behalf.
Unwilling to come forward because of her immense fear of Schiavo,
Cindy had to be subpoenaed and was then subsequently deposed
on May 8, 2001 to try and learn more regarding her intimate
knowledge of Michael Schiavo’s character traits.

Excerpts; May 8, 2001 Deposition:

Cindy Shook describing Schiavo’s possessiveness.

"he’s very jealous. He stalked me at my…at where I worked after
I stopped dating…when he would get mad at me he would tell me,
I would rather be laying in bed in the nursing home
with her than with you. I mean he can be the most
incredibly mean person"

When asked if she were afraid that Michael would physically harm her
or if he would harm children.

"I am concerned about retaliation because I have a child -
I have children and a husband. I know him, I know what he
told me I said he could be a very mean person."

She spoke of how Schiavo stalked her for close to
a year after the breakup and that she received repeated phone calls.

"He came on the floor looking for me several times. I felt it was out
of character for him to get a job as an orderly at the hospital.
That was concerning to me. When he would come up to the
floor looking for her she was not scared the first time
but later was scared.

In town I would look up when I was driving…not at my work-
she would look up in the rear view mirror and there would
be Michael Schiavo. I would look up and he would be behind me in traffic.
It continued for several months after he didn’t work
at the hospital. She would change lanes, try to make a
turn and he would do the same. He did this about ten times.

One time he was behind me in traffic he got next to me in
a two-lane going the same way, and he changed lanes basically
right on top of where I was at, and I had to swerve not to be hit.
I had to swerve off the road. Michael ran me off the road. I
considered it as stalking, dangerous and guessed potentially
life threatening."

Cindy thought about getting a restraining order. She talked
to an off duty police officer in her building

They discussed marriage. She said Schiavo asked what
would you do if I asked you to marry me. He never
discussed getting a divorce.

Cindy said Schiavo got angry when asked questions about Terri
saying:

"this had destroyed his life and he was being robed of a normal life."

Regarding Terri’s care, according to Cindy Shook, Michael Schiavo said,

"How the hell should I know we never spoke about this, my God I was only
25 years old. How the hell should I know? We were young.
We never spoke of this."

THEY NEVER SPOKE OF THIS! Yet now Michael claims that Terri's
wish was to die of starvation and dehydration, and the
infamous Judge George Greer rubber stamps it. Why?

A case for Criminal Investigation of Michael Schiavo:


1) Nurses’ testimony: Heidi Law, Carla Sauer-Iyer,
Carolyn Johnson have been ignored and dismissed without
hearing; each testified that Michael was abusive to Terri
and may have attempted to kill her by insulin injection
and attempts to induce pneumonia by turning the thermostat in
her room to 64 degrees.

2) Michael Baden, top forensic pathologist in country and
interviewed on Fox News National Television broadcast October 25, 2003
on Terri’s bone scan and injuries states that:

a) Terri’s injuries are not consistent with a heart attack;
no cardiac evidence to support it
b) Extremely rare for potassium imbalance on woman her age and
in her good health
c) Injuries are consistent with severe trauma possibly caused by a beating
d) The injuries in medical records warrant an immediate investigation

3) Dr. William Hammesfahr, Nobel prize nominee and neurologist testified that Terri’s neck injuries are consistent with only one type of injury: that of strangulation.

4) Terri’s doctor, Dr. Gambone resigned; he had previously testified
Terri would die within a few days of starvation/dehydration.
Terri has an obvious will to live.

5) Michael has enlisted the services of a new doctor,
Stanton Tripodis, who has 5 malpractice suits against him.
Clearly, Michael is attempting to provide sub-standard care for his wife.

Case no. 97007946C1 filed 11-25-97
Case no. 94003739C1 filed 6-27-94
Case no. 95000873C1 filed 2-14-95
Case no. 96001434C1 filed 3-6-96
Case no. 98002289C1 filed 4-7-98

6) Michael is committing adultery by living with another woman
who has already born one child with another on the way,
thereby creating an obvious conflict of interest as guardian.

7) Michael has committed both perjury (2 counts) and insurance fraud
by promising to provide care and therapy for his wife in exchange
for the court award of 1.2 million dollars in 1993. No care has
ever been provided to Terri.

8) Michael Schiavo has also prevented Terri from undergoing
a barium swallow test, a procedure necessary to ascertain
the consistency of foods able to be taken by mouth.

9) Co-conspirator George J. Felos combined and conspired with
Michael Schiavo to arrange for Terri's "free" stay at Hospice
Woodside as part of an "exit protocol" designed to advance Felos'
self-perceived messianic mission of "helping" incapacitated people
to die by categorizing them as "terminal," warehousing them, and
depriving them of therapy and rehabilitation services.
(Attorney Felos is Director of Florida Right to Die and
has testified that he can ascertain a person’s desire to
die by “looking into their eyes and letting their spirit
speak directly to him”)

10) Investigate Insurance company established in Jan 2001
at the home of Michael Schiavo and his girlfriend/fiancee Jody Centonze.
(Jerger and Centonze Insurnace Agency Inc.) Michael is listed on
the Board of Directors for the corporation. Note: Insurance is deliberately misspelled in the State of Florida Corporate filing, possibly to
avoid investigation.

11) Michael continues to deny Terri the right to receive Holy Communion
as part of her Catholic and civil right.

Comments
I just posted this information at my website.
Thanks for putting this out there!

Posted by: WriteWingNut | February 12, 2005 04:59 PM

Excellent website, thank you.
could you please add me to your links, thanks

Posted by: Stephen Park | February 13, 2005 07:30 PM

I am so incensed at the unwillingness of the FL judiciary
to investigate M. Schiavo. It is obvious that his lawyer G.
Felos wants to further his own cause; guilt and the subsequent
discovery of crimes committed against Terri can be the only
reason Schiavo has not relinquished control of her life.
It is truly a struggle of good versus evil.

Fight4Terri @aol.com
www.fight4terri.blogspot.com
Visit Terri's site: www.terrisfight.org

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

New Signs of Awareness in Some Brain-Injured Patients

Comments from Cheryl Ford RN

"Thousands of brain-damaged people who are treated as if they are almost completely unaware may in fact hear and register what is going on around them but be unable to respond, a new brain-imaging study suggests."

This is an interesting article, but hardly enlightening since many experts in the medical profession have been trying to convince the bioethicists, pro death attorneys and family members for years, that brain injured people are aware of their surroundings. Dr. Fin's declaration of his new found enlightenment seems hollow in light of the fact that the bioethics community has been, for many years, desperately trying to establish and declare their expertise in determining when and how someone should die....primarily based on their declaration of a patient's "persistent vegetative state." Where has Dr. Fin been hiding out?

Many bioethicists, lay people with a self-proclaimed expertise in the demographics of what the American people want, and pro-euthanasia attorneys and lawmakers find this information "enlightening" because they have been voicing their opinions about a subject matter beyond the realm of their expertise. They have, likewise, resisted any attempt to extricate them from the power that they have gained through discussing these topics as if they were experts.

For years, patient advocates like Chris Borthwick, and world-reknown medical experts like William M. Hammesfahr MD, and William S. Maxfield, MD, have been adamantly teaching the danger of assuming that a neurologist or an attorney can, with a cursory bedside examination, determine whether a patient is "minimally conscious" or in a "persistent vegetative state." That is the very reason the diagnosis of PVS has a misdiagnosis rate of over 30% and many people actually recover from what this article describes as "very little chance of recovery." As Dr. Fin so poignantly states, "...they were there all the time." I wonder what the bioethics community would declare, if Terri's estranged husband manages to kill her, and they then discover, "...She was there all the time."

What this article is describing that is worth celebrating is the first indication that someday we may be able to visualize and diagnose what is known today as a "locked-in state." Here is a quote from the veritable "Bible" of the bioethicists, the 1994 Consensus Statement of the Multi-Society Task Force :

"By definition, patients in a persistent vegetative state are unaware of themselves or their environment. They are noncognitive, nonsentient, and incapable of conscious experience. There is, however, a biological limitation to the certainty of this definition, since we can only infer the presence or absence of consciousness in another person....an error might occur if a patient in a locked-in state...was wrongly judged to be unaware. Thus, it is theoretically possible that a patient who appears to be in a persistent vegetative state retains awareness but shows no evidence of it."

It would seem that this statement alone would make suspect the notion that an MRI could become a powerful tool in helping decide whether someone had lost awareness, or not. The article seems to imply a heretofore unseen measure of activity...not a lack thereof. Maybe what gives Dr. Fin "goose bumps" is the notion that one day an attorney or bioethicist can hold an MRI up to the light and say, "This person should be rehabilitated (highly unlikely) or, this person should be starved and dehydrated to death because I can see that they are totally unaware."

Using Terri as an example, Dr. Ronald Cranford, MD, an extensively credentialed leader in bioethics, viewed Terri's CT scan in 02, and declared that she had little or no cerebral cortex in her head, and it was mostly filled with cerebrospinal fluid. On the other hand, Dr. William Maxfield, MD, not a bioethicist by trade (however he does serve as a member of the ethics task force in hyperbaric medicine) but rather a world - renown specialist in radiology and nuclear medicine who assisted in the invention and development of many of the imaging techniques in use today.
He is board certified in 3 different specialties and has held faculty positions and chairmanships at the US Navy Medical School in Bethesda, Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Oschner Clinic and Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, Tulane University School of Medicine, and the LSU School of Medicine.

What was his interpretation of Terri's CT scans?

He testified that Terri has brain tissue in all the major structures of her brain. Terri's most severe damage is in her occipital region and probably her eyesight is affected the most. It is possible for her to retain memories, as she still has tissue in that part of her brain. And finally, he detects a change FOR THE BETTER between her 96 and her 2002 CT scans, which he attributes to the body's natural tendency to heal itself. Can brain tissue regenerate? YES!

Always keep in mind, once we declare a machine as the ultimate decision maker for who is alive and who isn't, we relegate our freedom of choice to the "Master Machine Interpreter." Isn't it easier to simply write down on paper whether you want to be kept alive or not, and then sign it? Make the law and the attorneys obey you and your paper rather than "consulting the MMI." Next, we will be running people through emissions testing!

It is quite obvious that Dr. Hirsch has a much more ethical and moral grasp of the significance of this wonderful research.... "The most consequential thing about this is that we have opened a door, we have found an objective voice for these patients, which tells us they have some cognitive ability in a way they cannot tell us themselves," Dr. Hirsch said. The patients are, she added, "more human than we imagined in the past, and it is unconscionable not to aggressively pursue research efforts to evaluate them and develop therapeutic techniques."


New Signs of Awareness Seen in Some Brain-Injured Patients

New York Times

February 8, 2005
By BENEDICT CAREY

housands of brain-damaged people who are treated as if they are almost completely unaware may in fact hear and register what is going on around them but be unable to respond, a new brain-imaging study suggests.

The findings, if repeated in follow-up experiments, could have sweeping implications for how to care best for these patients. Some experts said the study, which appeared yesterday in the journal Neurology, could also have consequences for legal cases in which parties dispute the mental state of an unresponsive patient.

The research showed that the brain-imaging technology, magnetic resonance imaging, can be a powerful tool to help doctors and family members determine whether a person has lost all awareness or is still somewhat mentally engaged, experts said.

"This study gave me goose bumps, because it shows this possibility of this profound isolation, that these people are there, that they've been there all along, even though we've been treating them as if they're not," said Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of the medical ethics division of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Fins was not involved in the study but collaborates with its authors on other projects.

Other experts warned that the new research was more suggestive than conclusive, and that it did not mean that unresponsive people with brain damage were more likely to recover or that treatment was yet possible.

But they said the study did open a window on a world that has been neglected by medical inquiry. "This is an extremely important work, for that reason alone," said Dr. James Bernat, a professor of neurology at Dartmouth.

Dr. Bernat said findings from studies like these would be relevant to cases like that of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman with brain damage who has been kept alive for years against her husband's wishes. In that case, which drew the attention of Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature, relatives of Ms. Schiavo disagreed about her condition, and a brain-imaging test - once it has been standardized - could help determine whether brain damage has extinguished awareness.

The patients in question have significant brain damage. Three million to six million Americans live with the consequences of serious brain injuries, neurologists said. An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 of them are in what is called a minimally conscious state: they are bedridden, cannot communicate and are unable to feed or care for themselves, but they typically breathe on their own.

They may occasionally react to instructions to blink their eyes or even reach for a glass, although such responses are unpredictable. By observing behavior in a bedside examination, neurologists can determine whether a person is minimally conscious or in a "persistent vegetative state" - without awareness, and almost certain not to recover.

In the study, a team of neuroscientists in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., used imaging technology to compare brain activity in two young men determined to be minimally conscious with that of seven healthy men and women. In a measure of overall brain activity, the two groups were vastly different: the two minimally conscious men showed less than half the activity of the others.

But the researchers also recorded an audiotape for each of the nine subjects in which a relative or loved one reminisced, telling familiar stories and recalling shared experiences. In each of the brain-damaged patients, the sound of the voice prompted a pattern of brain activity similar to that of the healthy participants.

"We assumed we would get some minimal response in these patients, but nothing like this," said Dr. Nicholas Schiff, an assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan and the study's lead author. The two men showed near-normal patterns in the language-processing areas of their brains, Dr. Schiff said, suggesting that some neural networks "could be perfectly preserved under some conditions."

Although the number of patients studied was very small, the specificity and intricacy of the patterns made it all but impossible that the results were a fluke, said Dr. Joy Hirsch, director of the Functional MRI Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center and the study's senior author.

One of the two minimally conscious men lay still in a brain-imaging machine while his sister recounted his toast at her wedding and recalled times playing together as children. Although his eyes were closed, the researchers found that visual areas of his brain were active, suggesting that he might have been producing images, Dr. Hirsch said.

"We do not know for sure what is happening in this man's head, but if he were imagining things at the sound of his sister's voice, that would suggest some connection to emotion," Dr. Hirsch said.

Since the study was completed, Dr. Hirsch said, the team has run the same kinds of tests on seven similar brain-injury patients, with similar results: the language processing networks in their brains display seemingly normal patterns upon their hearing the voice of a loved one. The government has provided financing for the team to conduct a larger study of mental activity in minimally conscious people.

A better understanding of brain patterns in minimally conscious patients should also help cut down on misdiagnosis by doctors, Dr. Fins said. He said one study had found that as many as 30 percent of patients identified as being unaware, in a persistently vegetative state, were not. They were minimally conscious.

Moreover, mental states can change over time, and some patients have almost completely recovered function after being thought vegetative. Brain imaging would be one way to track these changes, and even link them to efforts at treatment. Doctors have no cure for either a minimally conscious or persistently vegetative state.

"The most consequential thing about this is that we have opened a door, we have found an objective voice for these patients, which tells us they have some cognitive ability in a way they cannot tell us themselves," Dr. Hirsch said. The patients are, she added, "more human than we imagined in the past, and it is unconscionable not to aggressively pursue research efforts to evaluate them and develop therapeutic techniques."



Fight4Terri @aol.com
www.fight4terri.blogspot.com
Visit Terri's site: www.terrisfight.org

"We make a Living by what we do,
but we make a LIFE by what we give"
~Winston Churchill~

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Our Cold Bodies Were Soon Warmed

By, Cheryl Ford RN
Fight4Terri@aol.com


On February 4, 2005, at 1:00 PM, approximately 30 friends of Terri met Mr. Wayne Galley and myself in the central lobby of the Mariott Hotel. We had gathered together to prepare for our planned peaceful demonstration in front of the Tampa Convention Center. President Bush was scheduled to arrive at 4:00 PM to give a talk on his revamping of Social Security.

In his efforts to help save Terri, Wayne Galley has made two trips across country in less than two months. He recently arrived as a guest in our home again on January 27th from California. Wayne is a talented songwriter and musician. Originally from Australia, he has joined Terri's fight hoping that his music would send an inspirational message to help save Terri's life. He has written several very beautiful songs for Terri, thus, creating "LIFE" CD to help benefit Terri's Foundation. Hear the demo's of Terri's songs at Terri's website: www.terrisfight.org

Knowing how critical time is surrounding Terri's fight, Galley's efforts are relentless when it comes to him helping me with my Fight4Terri internet and widespread local grassroots movement. Terri Schindler-Schiavo is only weeks, if not just days away from having her life ended via a torturous death of dehydration and starvation. Her estranged husband Michael Schiavo, sits salivating as he waits in anticipation for the day Judge George Greer's corrupt court will again exhaust the desperate pleas and filings of Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler. In the last several weeks, Mr. and Mrs. Schindler have repeatedly tried to bargain with Michael Schiavo. They have made a request that they be granted the parental rights to care for their disabled daughter Terri, in exchange for no more legal battles in the courts. They have agreed to give Michael, and the 2 children he created with his fiancee Jodi Centonze, all rights to any books or movies made on Terri's situation that they may potentially be offered. In addition, they have agreed to not pursue any legal filings against him for whatever remaining 1.6 million dollars he has in his possession. The money that was awarded to Terri in 1993 for her rehabilitation. Rehabilitation that Michael Schiavo has denied Terri for many years!

Schiavo, through a message delivered by death attorney George Felos has denied the Schindlers' written request. He and George Felos instead wish to patiently await for Judge Greer's permission to again pull Terri's feeding tube; a small feeding tube which she only has attached in order to receive routine and customary nutrition for 12 hours daily. For the remaining 12 hours, Terri is not connected to any tubes whatsoever. She, like every other disabled person, sits in her wheelchair anticipating the daily visits of her parents and siblings. Schiavo has not permitted Terri to leave her hospice room in well over four and a half years. Consequently, the Schindlers have to visit her at the hospice building and have not been able to take their daughter on any outdoor outings. The outing restrictions also included Terri not being permitted to attend her own birthday celebration. A celebration which was held this past December at a local public park with 150 guests in attendance.

The February 4th President demonstration did not deliver us typical Florida weather. It was cold and very windy. Standing near the Hillsborough Bay did not do anything to help with the wind chill factor penetrating our clothing. I had asked the supporters to dress in similar attire, dark slacks and a light colored top so to make our unified presence known on behalf of Terri. The volunteers gladly agreed. For this particular rally, we decided to change how we usually write our messages on the signs that we hold. Our messages were identical and simple so to accommodate how quickly the President in his motorcade would be passing.

The signs all read....Please Save Terri!

In the 3 hours prior to the Presidents arrival, we all stood with our signs held up before hundreds of people who were in single file waiting in front of the Convention Center to get in to hear the President's speech on Social Security. We however, were not invited inside like they were.

While displaying our signs outside the convention center, we were approached by two police officers. They informed us that we were standing on Convention property. The one officer had explained if they had any complaints from the Convention people, they would have to ask us to move to the public sidewalk. Before we could politely thank him for his information, he whispered to a supporter, "I believe in what you are doing for Terri."

It was a great feeling to know our message for Terri was being delivered to so many people at one time as they had all waited in line before us. Several people even left their place in line to cross and ask us how Terri was doing. They wanted to know why the courts were not helping Terri? Many expressed their sincere empathy and concern for Terri and her family. It soon became apparent to me, the tides in the last several months had finally turned in Terri's favor. I found the majority of the public were now in support of Terri as opposed to other rallies I had held several months ago when many were misinformed about Terri and were against saving her life. What I saw in the general public was also validated in three independent voting polls I had recently reviewed in the media. Again, I found myself wondering why was the atmosphere always so different with regard to Terri's life in Judge Greer's courtroom, than it was in the atmosphere and opinion of the general public?

I have attributed much of the noted change in the publics opinion to the work which has been set forth by the grassroots internet movements. For example, the supporters alone under my Fight4Terri grassroots movement have grown in 17 months from a mere 200 supporters to now well up into the thousands. Internet correspondence delivers messages about Terri's plight throughout the world via emails, message boards and chat rooms. The Internet forums are in session day and night, 7 days per week, spreading the truth about Terri to people from all over the world. Discussions are taking place every where on the net about Judge Greer, George Felos, and Michael Schiavo's infidelity and wishes to kill Terri via dehydration and starvation. Because there are many available on line public records regarding Terri's plight, thousands of people have begun accessing them and are questioning could there have been domestic violence during the night of Terri's collapse.

The Free Republic Internet people (aka Freepers)are another known group who also have been instrumental in fighting to save Terri's life. The Freepers have maintained a steady support thread for Terri. The Freepers have worked hard, providing current resources and information to those already informed, as well as to others who are new to Terri's urgent life and death situation. I personally wish to thank the Free Republic members for their help in educating the public concerning Terri's actual physical and mental condition.

Shortly after 3PM Eastern Time, the roads surrounding the Convention center were blocked from all moving traffic. It had become obvious to us that we had chosen the correct location to view the President's motorcade procession into the Convention Center. As the minutes ticked by, we eagerly awaited confirmation for any signs of the Presidents motorcade coming down the road.

The anticipation heightened when out in the distance we could see the first signs of flashing lights on several motorcycles and police cars that were leading the Presidents motorcade. We held our message signs for Terri high above our heads hoping the President would see our pleas for him to help us SAVE TERRI as his motorcade had turned the corner directly in front of us.

Our cold bodies were soon warmed with a sense of relief. We were confident that our physical location on the sidewalk and the signs we held had to have made contact with the man inside the darkened windows of one of the several vehicles which passed. We knew in our hearts one of those vehicles carried the President of the United States and he had to have seen our 30 plus signs which all read....Please SAVE Terri.

About the Author: Cheryl Ford is a licensed Registered Nurse in the state of Washington. She is the founder and CEO of her own company which assists in the financial, social and clinical assessment and placement of patients requiring a wide range of skilled medical treatment to over 450 licensed Adult Family Homes. The licensed Adult Family homes are owned and operated by physicians and nurses. While also maintaining another residence and an additional business in the state of Florida, her involvement as an activist in the Terri Schiavo case has arisen as a concerned citizen, as well as from the many years of knowledge she possesses as a Clinical Case Manager, licensed Registered Nurse and former firefighter/paramedic.