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February 17, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Brother Speaks Out - "Blogs for Terri" Exclusive

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Counts

What follows is the text of an interview with a frustrated brother speaking up about the way his sister has been treated, what his family has had to endure, and the very strange behavior of Michael Schiavo toward his sister and Terri's family.

Note: Links to all Terri Schiavo posts from "Blogs for Terri" are at the end of this post.

Following the press conference at the Woodside Hospice on Wednesday, Hyscience, ProLifeBlogs and Teknosis , in behalf of Blogs for Terri - interviewed Bobby Schindler, Terri Schiavo's brother. The questions and Bobby's answers in their entirety are as follows:

1.  What is Terri's current health status?  How is she holding up?

Physically Terri seems to be ok.  However, we do not really know her true medical condition because Michael Schiavo, against court order, instructs all medical information to be withheld from our family.  This has been going on since 1993.  We are so incredibly frustrated that if we should inquire about Terri's health, we are told... "Michael has instructed us that we cannot tell you anything about Terri's condition".  It's hard to imagine that any parent could be told that they are not allowed to know anything about their child's wellbeing, but this is what Michael Schiavo has been instructing the nurses since 1993.

2.  How are you and the rest of your family doing?

Our family is holding up pretty good under the circumstances.  I think we stay strong for Terri because she is staying strong for us, and showing an incredible iron will to live.  We love Terri just the way she is and we have banded together as her family to fight with all that we have in order to stop this inhumane treatment she has been enduring at the hands of her 'husband'.  My family will not stand by and watch a family member being starved to death by judicial order.  It has been a long an arduous battle, but we'll never give up on Terri.

3.  What impact has this had on your family?

We have been impacted in so many ways. Not only has this made our family stronger but our love for each other and for Terri has grown immensely.  The hundreds of thousands of people we have heard from supporting Terri have made a huge impact on us. It has kept our faith strong and re-instilled our belief that there is true power in the lover and prayers of people everywhere.  We have read heartbreaking stories of so many people in more tragic situations than ours, and that  many people who have loved ones worse off than Terri that are truly scared by what is happening to her.  We feel blessed to have the love and support of so many people we don't even know.

4.  What message would you like to see bloggers communicate?

Terri's condition, from the beginning of this court battle, has been mischaracterized by the media.  Although the court has sided with Michael Schiavo's two doctors at the original trial in January 2000 that Terri is in a PVS condition, there have been at least twelve doctors since then that have testified to the court adamant that Terri is NOT in a PVS.  Additionally, these doctors have testified that with proper therapy Terri could improve significantly, be taught to speak, and learn to eat food again, which would then mean Terri would not need the assistance of a feeding tube.

Also, all the abuse/neglect that have been ongoing since 1993.  It astounds me that the court allows Michael Schiavo, as Terri Schaivo's legal guardian, to treat Terri in the manner that Terri is being treated.  From not permitting Terri to go outside for over four years, to ordering Terri's nurses to pull her shades completely shut in her room.  You can read the >list of abuses at www.zimp.org/abuse

Lastly, state agencies that are in place to protect people like my sister are grossly failing their responsibilities to protect vulnerable adults like my sister.

There has never been an investigation conducted to see if Michael Schiavo attacked Terri the night she collapsed, despite the overwhelming evidence that has been gathered the last two years suggesting that something horrible happened to Terri that night (Please visit www.zimp.org/stuff). For example, there exists a bone scan taken in 1991, illustrating broken bones throughout Terri's body, but only was recently discovered in November 2002, and no agency in the state of Florida seems to care how this occurred, and that Terri's husband might be the reason Terri's in the condition that she is in today.

These state agencies are also permitting the abuse/neglect of my sister regardless of numerous Florida Statutes that are clearly being violated.  These agency have a responsibility and a duty to protect vulnerable adults, but for some unexplained reason they will not intervene in my sister situation

5.  What can bloggers do to support the Schindler family and Terri?

It might sound like a cliche, but getting the truth out about Terri's condition, open an investigation to see what happened the night Terri collapsed, and to investigate all these abuses and neglect that are ongoing.

6.  Have blogger made a noticeable impact in the fight for Terri?

Yes, my family is getting flooded with emails asking how to help and offering prayers of support.  I am also seeing the increase of acitivity and stories that are being written in support of my sister.  As I said, this has been very uplifting and inspiring for my family to read and we are so grateful for the time every blogger is taking to bring out the truth and save my sister. I'm also grateful for the time everyone is taking to write and contact people that can help save my sister.  I only wish that I was able to respond to everyone.  Maybe when we save Terri, I can sit down and thank each and every person that has taken the time to email my family supporting my sister's life.

7.  How often do you interact with Terri? Could you describe this
interaction?

We interact with Terri several times a week.  When we visit with Terri she is always happy to see us. She lights up when she hears my mom's voice, beginning with a huge grin and laugh, then by trying so hard to talk.   No doctor in the world can ever convince my family that Terri isn't responding to us when we visit her and that Terri isn't trying to communicate with us.  It is sad that we are unable to understand what she is trying to say as she desperately needs speech therapy. She has not had any speech therapy in over twelve years.  She usually gets tired and then just listens as we tell her about the latest family events.  She sometimes cries when we say we are leaving.

9.  What can individuals do in FL (locally) and through-out the world to help Terri?  Is there one specific person bloggers and blog readers should concentrate on contacting?

That is a good question.   We will soon post on Terri's web, www.terrisfight.org and with Blogs for Terri, an action plan that people can do to help save Terri.  I have to think that if we get a groundswell of enough people contacting the Governor, the Florida legislatures, the media, and anyone that is in a position to help, we can show that starving an innocent human being to death is wrong, and absolutely inhumane and it can't be tolerated.  Also, I hope that we can find out one day what happened to Terri the night she collapsed.

10. What legal avenues are the Schindler's presently pursuing?

There are several valid legal issues that are or will be in front of Judge George Greer.  Terri's web lists all the present legal actions.

11.  What is the plan if these avenues fail?

Last week a story was published in the New York Times about new brain scan imagining that could help persons like Terri.  This news came out of no where and many of us feel it was a gift from God.  We have to keep praying that God will continue to protect Terri and that through Him; we will find a way to save my sister.  There is no doubt that if any member of my family was in Terri's place, she would be fighting just as hard for us.   As I said, Terri is clearly showing her tremendous will to live, and has never given up on us.  My family will never give up on Terri.

- And never will Blogs for Terri and their thousands of readers!

Link to the Blogs for Terri News Aggregator
Link to all Hyscience posts on Terri Schiavo

Posted by Hyscience at February 17, 2005 10:39 PM

I am a pro-choice female, that finds this woman has lost all rights, to the mistake she married .It is disgusting, to watch her GUARDIAN CONTROL her to HER Death ,a death not even forced on pets.We don't
allow animals to die of dehydration. Doctors CANNOT
know if she is suffering, they don't live in her head.
Does she have life Insurance??? Marriage should not be
a DEATH sentence for the Helpless.I hope she Haunts
MICHEEL , till the day he dies. Too bad our country honors only money I guess enough spend on Terri. Water the Lawn MIchael, would not want it to die. Awful Disgusting Hypocrites .To the Schindler's So Sorry for your most definite pain. There are no words that convey the Strength you have to watch this man do what he is doing to Terri .Also funny how the fed.gov. can try to over rule the state courts about Gay Marriage, but not this, what a web. Gross justice. Where are the pro lifers now!!!!

Posted by: Mia at March 28, 2005 11:56 AM

Terri Schaivo has the right to file for divorce for her own safety against her husband. She does not need his consent for divorce. Someone needs to stand in her behalf and get this process underway today. Her right to life is being inhumanely taken away by her husband only because she is disabled. A divorce today will save her life and give her back to people who love her. Get this message out there so she can get a divorce. She has a right to life.

Posted by: vonni at March 29, 2005 9:28 AM



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