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February 20, 2005

Standing Firm, Making a Difference

Topics: Medical Issues

I have received a number of emails from individuals who can truly sympathize with the Schindlers because they have walked a similar path. Their testimony is powerful and reveals that Terri Schiavo's parents are not alone in their desire to care for and treat a loved one who has been classified by the medical establishment as in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) [see Hyscience for the truth about PVS in Terri's case]. In addition, the struggle over Terri Schiavo’s life has increased public awareness and enabled many to deal more effectively with difficult and trying situations.

One such letter came from "Lorraine". She wrote,

I have been reading for over a year about Terri, my sister was in a car accident 3 years now and is in a PVS state, we have had to fight her husband on many issues (except pulling the tube) which we feared would be next, ironically he was killed in a car accident this past year. Now his sister has us in court (as she got the children) due to the fact he changed his will, our hearts break every day for our Joanne, we pray for Terri and her family too. God Bless.
I sent a few follow-up questions and she was kind enough to reply.
Without having in-depth information concerning Terri Schiavo's condition, just one glance at the television screen showing her loving facial expression towards her parents says more than a thousand words as to why she should remain on life support systems. May God bless her and her family and may she miraculously recover someday in the future. There is always hope.
Note that Terri is actually not on life support but is fed through a feeding tube which experts testify would be unnecessary if she was given therapy. Unlike Terri, Joanne is currently in therapy and is making progress.
We take our sister 5 days a week to hyperic oxygen, we take her to neuro gym, and we take her to a place for acquired brain injury, try speech etc. Unfortunately, we did not get Jo into this program until into the 2nd year of her accident [because] her husband was not on board with helping us, which I’m sure slowed down the process for her well being, but we have been doing this since May of this year and we see a happier Joanne, she plays ball with us, rubs our faces with affection, loves to be stimulated in any way, such as blocks, reaching for things, etc, in other words Jo is showing progress, we will not give up.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Joanne and Lorraine.

A somewhat different experience is recounted by Christianity and Middle-Earth who had to make difficult decisions regarding her brother’s life after he suffered acute respiratory failure.

... by the end of that first week in the new hospital a doctor ambushed me and informed me my brother was going to die anyway, so I should let him 'die with dignity'...so they needed my permission to bring him off the paralytic long enough for him to be able to breathe on his own, then they’d pull the life-support. Otherwise, it would be legally murder.
After some contemplation, the writer stood firm stating to the doctors, “If you can make him comfortable enough to die, why can't you make him comfortable enough to live?" We can always kill him later; we can't resurrect him." Although the experience was difficult, the story has a good ending,
Two months later he was buying books and shopping at Walmart. He’ll be on a lot of medicine for the rest of his life, but that’s a minor detail. And the reference to the news*? If I hadn't been seething for weeks over the attempted murder of Terry Schiavo, my brother would now be ashes.
The publicity surrounding Terri’s case is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people who have had to make decisions and care for loved ones following an accident or an illness. I’m certain that they are watching Judge Greer and Michael Schiavo in horror, recognizing from their personal experience the injustice and treachery that is being handed to Terri.

Cross-posted at ProLifeBlogs

Posted by tim at February 20, 2005 3:33 AM

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