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February 27, 2005

Five Minute Video of Terri Schiavo shows interaction between mother and daughter

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

On October 14, of 2003 it was reported that the family of Terri Schindler Schiavo disclosed a videotape made in violation of a court order they said disproves her husband's contention that she is in a "persistent vegetative state," as is required by Florida law to end her life.

Robert Schindler, Terri's dad, admited that he knowingly violated a court order issued by Pinellas-Pasco County, Fla., Circuit Judge George Greer barring Terri's family from providing her with any form of rehabilitative therapy or from taking still photographs and audio or video recordings of his daughter.

Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband and the "guardian" that has long sought to have Terri's feeding tube removed, threatened through an attorney to deny Terri's parents access to their daughter as a result of the tape's release.

The nearly five-minute-long video (caution, it is a long download for dial-up connections, and requires Realplayer) includes scenes of Terri together with her mother, Mary Schindler, and shows Terri apparently interacting with her mother and trying to speak. In one segment, the mother enters Terri's hospice room and speaks her daughter's name, at which point Terri's eyes open wider, and she attempts to sit upright in her hospital bed.

Pamela Hennessy, volunteer media coordinator for the  Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, described Terri as being able to sit up in her chair unassisted and "extremely alert, extremely responsive.

"Her mother comes in and starts nuzzling her and kissing her on her cheek, and Terri starts laughing out loud. Her mother says to her, 'Can you say Mom?' And Terri replies, much like a small child or a toddler would, with some vocalizations, and she laughs again," Hennessy said.

In the videotape, dated August 11, 2001, Terri is seen smiling when kissed on the cheek by her mother. When the mother begins to more playfully kiss her daughter's face, Terri can be seen and heard laughing in response.

In another portion of the tape, the woman's mother asks her if she can say "Mom," and Terri can be heard trying to speak, and she can be seen trying to form words with her mouth. At one point, Terri gives the appearance of frustration, furrowing her brow and losing her smile.

Mrs. Schindler said Tuesday that the attempts to communicate had a visible effect on her daughter.

"She gets frustrated, you can hear it in her voice, when she can't communicate like I'm sure she wants to, it's difficult for her," said Mrs. Schindler. "But that's her best effort to say, 'I'm in here, and I'm trying to talk to you.'"

A plethora of documents and other videos related to Terri Schiavo are available at the Hospice Patients Alliance.

Cross posted at BlogsforTerri

Posted by Hyscience at February 27, 2005 6:31 PM

I don't know why Terri is as she is for so long, but can't expect to understand-only accept. I don't think it is up to us (the human race) to decide when a person should die. I feel that we should do all we can to help people live. It is up to God and God alone, to make such decisions. There's some reason for her last 15 years-perhaps to make us more compassionate? Perhaps she is a reminder of many things we choose to ignore about our life on earth? There are many possibilities.

Posted by: Joan Coleman at March 20, 2005 12:28 PM

She may not have the quality of life each and everyone would hope for themselves and their loved ones. However, clearly she is VERY MUCH ALIVE and has emotions. To not reinsert her feeding tubes is a terrible sin. Again, Terri is very much alive. She did not sign a living will, therefore any wishes she may have relayed to her husband are heresay. Since there is no living will, one should side with life. Her parents created her and their love for her is pure. One should not rely on her husband's heresay information of her wishes. One does not really know what motives lie beneath his so called fight to put her to death.

Posted by: Dawn at March 21, 2005 10:50 PM

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