By Vickie Chachere
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Life-support feeding for a woman who has been comatose for 11 years resumed two days after her husband had it cut off to let her die.
A judge gave the emergency order Thursday after a lawsuit by the woman’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who maintain that their daughter isn’t brain dead as her husband claims.
The suit cites new statements from Michael Schiavo’s former girlfriend that he lied in court so he could inherit his wife’s money.
Attorneys for the Schindlers said they would take a sworn statement from the ex-girlfriend on Friday.
An attorney for Schiavo said he would appeal the injunction, a process that likely will take days.
Terri Schiavo slipped into a coma in 1990 following a heart attack as a result of a potassium imbalance. Her husband has told the courts that his wife had said she did not want to be kept alive artificially.
On Tuesday, he won received legal approval to let her starve, and she stopped receiving nutrients.
Two days later, the Schindlers sued their son-in-law for fraud, citing statements by Cindi Shook Brashers, who dated him in 1992, that he had lied about his wife’s wishes.
Circuit Judge Frank Quesada granted the couple a temporary injunction, and feeding resumed Thursday through the tube, which had been left in. Quesada agreed with the Schindlers’ attorneys that he couldn’t wait to act until the new lawsuit was litigated.
“I don’t think there is anything more final or irreparable harm than death,” he said.
Quesada said neither of the courts who let Michael Schiavo end his 37-year-old wife’s feedings had the benefit of hearing the new testimony.
George Felos, an attorney for Michael Schiavo, said his client denies that he is angling for the $700,000 his wife collected in a medical malpractice lawsuit and was devastated at the ruling.
“It is a tragedy beyond description to have Terri’s artificial life support removed and then reinstated,” Felos said.
Bob Schindler burst into tears at news of the injunction, the first legal battle the family has won in more than a year of litigation and appeals.
The Schindlers’ suit cites statements by Brashers, who said she dated Michael Schiavo in 1992, during the time he had sued a doctor who had treated his wife for malpractice.
A jury awarded the Schiavos more than $1 million after Michael Schiavo testified that he intended to care for his wife until she dies. Brashers said he told her that he and his wife had never discussed the matter of artificial life support.
Brashers told an investigator for the Schindlers’ attorneys that she came forward after hearing Michael Schiavo on the radio talk about how much he cared for his wife. According to court records,
Brashers told investigators that Michael Schiavo considered his incapacitated wife a “nuisance.”