A California businessman has offered $1 million to the husband of a brain-damaged Florida woman if he will give up guardianship of her – a move that would save her from court-ordered starvation set to begin next Friday.

Those caring for Terri Schiavo are scheduled to remove her feeding tube March 18 – for the third time in the last few years – unless a court-approved alternative is found. Estranged husband Michael Schiavo won a court order in 2000 to have her feeding tube removed, claiming she had said she wouldn’t want to live in such a condition. Parents Robert and Mary Schindler, however, insist she has demonstrated a strong will to live, and they have filed a flurry of motions to prevent the tube’s removal – to no avail.

Enter Robert Herring Sr., the founder of electronics firm HERCO Technology and founder of WEALTHTV. Herring has secured the services of celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who today held a press conference to announce the million-dollar offer.

“[Terri’s] situation has deeply moved and distressed our client Mr. Herring who has been observing the case in the media, as millions of others have, for about a year,” Allred told reporters.

“He recognizes that unless something is done immediately, Terri Schiavo is not likely to survive very long after March 18. Knowing that time is of the essence and realizing that he is fortunate enough to be able to help, he has decided to take action.”

Continued Allred: “He contacted me and retained my law firm to convey the following offer to Terri’s husband. If Mike Schiavo agrees to transfer the legal right to decide all of Terri’s current and future medical decisions to Terri’s parents, then Mr. Herring will pay Mr. Schiavo the amount of $1 million (subject to court approval of Terri’s parents as her conservators or guardians).”

The money was deposited in Allred’s law firm’s client trust account. She says Schiavo has until 4 p.m. Monday to accept the offer.

Herring, a believer in the promise of stem-cell research, said he thinks if Terri is kept alive, her condition could improve.

“After viewing video of Terri on television, I came to the belief that there was hope for her,” Herring said. “As events have proceeded in the legal battle, it became clear to me that if something was not done for Terri, that all hope for her would be lost. …

“I believe very strongly that there are medical advances happening around the globe that very shortly could have a positive impact on Terri’s condition. I have seen miraculous recoveries occur through the use of stem cells in patients suffering a variety of conditions.”

Herring says he is not affiliated with any group but simply “a private individual who is looking to bring hope to Terri’s family.”

In a related development today, Circuit Judge George Greer rejected a request by the Florida Department of Children & Families for a 60-day delay in the tube-pulling so it could investigate allegations of abuse and neglect by Schiavo’s husband.

Court documents and other information are posted on the Schindler family website.

Links to all “Terri briefs” regarding the governor’s defense of Terri’s Law are on the Florida Supreme Court website, public information.

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