The family of Terri Schiavo calls the intervention by the Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush to save her from death by starvation and dehydration an
answer to prayers, so they’re asking for more.
“It’s a miracle. How it happened. It was the first time in history the Florida
Legislature passed something in one day … an absolute miracle,” Terri’s
father, Robert Schindler, said in a taped interview aired today on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club.”
Robert Schindler at press conference Oct. 14 (photo: Gary McCullough, Christian Communication Network)
As Terri recovers from the six days over which her feeding tube was
removed, her family urges the public to continue praying for her and for them
to prevail in their court motions to get a new guardian appointed and to enter
the appeal right-to-die attorney, George Felos, has filed on behalf of Terri’s husband, Michael Schiavo, arguing the legislative intervention, called “Terri’s Law,” is unconstitutional.
“Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have in the battle for Terri’s life.
Please continue to pray, and if you are able, visit the site of the vigil once
again,” said a vigil organizer in a press release. “This prayer has given this
fight for Terri’s life the momentum it gravely needed.”
Beginning tonight, supporters will resume the vigil held outside the hospice
where Terri was transferred in 2000 and light candles at dusk Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings every week.
The hospice is located at 6774 102nd Avenue North in Pinellas Park, Fla.
“Larry King Live” rebuttal
In new developments, the Schindlers are scheduled to appear on CNN’s
“Larry King Live” next Thursday, according to their attorney. They have been told they will be given the full hour-long program to rebut claims and
comments made by Michael Schiavo and Felos during their hour-long appearance on the program Monday.
CNN has not responded to an e-mail seeking confirmation of their scheduled appearance.
In the meantime, the couple took the opportunity of the CBN segment this morning to refute some of Michael Schiavo’s allegations, chief among them his charge that the family is only after $1.2 million awarded Michael Schiavo in 1992 in medical-malpractice suits – the bulk of which went into a fund for Terri’s rehabilitation – which he says has been whittled down to approximately $50,000. Felos and Schiavo say the money was used to cover Terri’s medical expenses. WorldNetDaily has reported Felos was paid $358,000 in legal fees from Terri’s fund. Schiavo’s other attorney received some $80,000 from the fund.
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Michael Schiavo on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” (Photo: St. Petersburg Times)
“Her father and mother came into the room and they closed the door,” Schiavo said on the CNN program, “[Robert Schindler] pointed at Terri in the
wheelchair and says, ‘How much am I going to get from her money?’ … From
there, it blew up. He wanted to go out in the hall and have a fist fight. It was
The Schindlers agree with Schiavo that the tug of war over Terri is all
“Yeah, it’s all about money. But not for us. For Terri,” Robert Schindler
said, and then offered a different version of that Feb. 14, 1993 argument that
created the rift between the Schindlers and the Schiavos.
“I had asked him a couple of times about the money and that it should be
going towards Terri and he said, ‘Well, I’m the husband,’” Schindler said.
“Well, I finally confronted him and it erupted into a pretty violent argument and he said, ‘I am the husband, I’ll make all the decisions. You have nothing to say.’ And I said, ‘You made a commitment. What about your integrity?’ And he took a book, I think it was, and threw it against the wall and started coming after me like he was going to almost attack me. And my wife, God bless her, she defended me.”
Developing his contention the Schindlers were only after the malpractice
awards, Michael Schiavo said they had offered him $700,000 a couple of years
ago to walk away from the battle over Terri. He suggested the money would
come from “right-wing, right-to-life activists.”
The Schindlers confirmed the offer and explained their strategy.
“We wanted to kind of smoke him out, to see where he was coming from,”
said Robert Schindler. “The idea was, let’s see if he accepts it. It’ll expose that
he’s in this for the money. We expected him not to accept it because it would
have made everything he was doing look like a farce.”
In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler denied
the money would have come from pro-life organizations.
“To tell you the truth, we didn’t have the money back then,” he said. “We
just made the offer expecting him not to take it.”
As to Schiavo and Felos’ insistence that Terri remains in a vegetative state and wishes to be allowed to “die with dignity,” the Schindlers said that fact that Terri survived six days without her feeding tube and has survived numerous infections, pneumonia and a collapsed lung in the past decade that she has been in nursing homes and hospice is evidence of her will to live.
And they say there’s no way Terri’s apparent responses to her mother are random reflexes deemed consistent with a persistent vegetative state by physicians solicited by Felos.
Terri responding to her mother in video clip available
“There’s hope,” said Mary Schindler. “After 10 years of having no therapy she responds to me. … If I say, ‘It’s mommy,’ she just either starts to cry or laugh … she’s telling me that she knows I’m her mother. So I know that she’s there.”