Theresa Marie Schindler was born in Pennsylvania on December 3, 1963 to Mary and Robert Schindler.
Charming, but decidedly bashful, Terri quickly developed a nurturing personality.
Her parents tell stories of Terri’s devotion to family pets and to animals of every sort. Her sister and brother label Terri a lover of music – especially piano.
She even wrote to musician John Denver to request he play at her wedding.
Terri had a knack for art and her sketches are something of a treasure to her family.
Terri came to Florida in the early 1980s and worked in an administrative capacity for a local insurance agency. She attended Catholic Mass with her sister and kept a close relationship with her immediate family.
Terri’s Life Changes
In 1990, Terri Schindler-Schiavo collapsed in the home she shared with her husband, Michael Schiavo. The cause of her collapse is unknown to this day.
Terri fell into a coma but awakened from her comatose state weeks later. She was left in what medical professionals call a “locked in state” with limited abilities to communicate or move.
During the first months that followed Terri’s mysterious collapse, she made progress. Medical practitioners noted her efforts to speak and her responsiveness.
To this day, Terri remains disabled. Though she is responsive to stimuli, interacts with her environment and her loved ones and is capable of communicating in limited ways, she is a disabled and vulnerable adult – requiring protection, therapy and the route to recovery.
Terri receives food and water by way of a gastric feeding tube. There are many amongst us and in all walks of life who receive assisted nutrition and hydration.
Terri has not received meaningful therapy since 1991 on the orders of her estranged husband.
In 1998, Terri’s estranged husband petitioned the circuit courts of Pinellas County, Florida to end her life by removing her feeding tube. If her husband is successful, Terri will die of dehydration and starvation over the course of 10 to 14 days. While there are laws in place to protect her from such things, the courts have decided that her wish would be a death from dehydration and starvation as opposed to therapy and rehabilitation.