March 25, 2005
Dear Governor Bush,
I am a 41 year old disabled woman who would like to express my concerns
regarding the Terri Schiavo case.
Like many disabled people, I was misdiagnosed by my Doctors at birth. In 1964 I had congenital toxoplasmosis. This is a parasitic infectious disease. Cats are the main carriers. When pregnant women come into contact with cat litter or eat raw meat, they can be affected by the parasite, ultimately transmitting the disease to their unborn children. This is what happened to me. Any newborn with this disease is likely to have multiple disabilities. They include blindness, deafness, mental retardation,
and problems with motor development. I was two months premature and had pneumonia at only five days of age. The doctors
were uncertain of my prognosis and told my parents that I would not be
capable of much, would be an ill child and would be lucky if I could graduate
Despite the fact that I had some brain damage, lacked motor ability and was almost totally blind, my Parents did everything they could to help improve the quality of my life. They wanted the best for me and got me treatment at a prestigious Center
that treats children and adults with Brain injuries. They had heard about two
Doctors Glen Domen and Karral Delgado who were performing patterning on me and
others whom have similar problems. Patterning is a method of training
the healthy cells to compensate for the damaged areas of the brain that no longer perform the tasks and functions they are supposed to fulfill. This process can and usually will take years if the person is to recover and
increase their ability to perform basic tasks and later graduate to more advanced functioning. This was exactly the case with me. I was on this patterning program for at
least 5 years until I began kindergarten.
If it was not for my Parents and those Doctors at the Institute of the
Achievement of Human Potential, I would not be who I am today. I have met
other people that have the same condition as I, and some of them are not as
fortunate. They have multiple disabilities: learning disabilities and
motor development problems. I believe, if my Parents listened to some of those Doctors 40 years ago, I
would not be the successful person I am today. Although I am totally blind, I do not have any other severe disabilities. In
fact, I have graduated from College with a BA in Psychology and I am presently
employed. I am a professional whom works in the Hospitality
If I did not get all the assistance and support from my Family, I would not be
writing this letter. Furthermore, there are many hundreds of other individuals whom have a similar story, who’s Doctors have misdiagnosed them. Doctor’s do not always
have the answers! They too, are human and can and will make mistakes.
In the case of Terri Schiavo, I believe those Doctors whom say she is in a
vegetative state are wrong! I am an informed American and watch the News just about every night. From what I understand, several other Doctors (approximately 33 doctors) say otherwise. It has been noted that Some of the Doctors on Terri’s case say that she
can be rehabilitated and is conscious. Though she can not really speak, she is aware, feels pain, makes facial expressions and understands what is happening around her. So, Governor Bush, I am asking you, Please, do everything you can to save Terri’s life.
Right now, we just need to connect the tube and then continue investigating
I find this case very disturbing. Terri is not dying in dignity like some
say, but rather, this is inhumane. Please, help Terri before it’s too
late. Time is of the essence!!
Good letter to Govenor Bush, Karen. I was also very much in favor of her being kept alive, and not starved and dehydrated to death, as she was. It was a very sad day for us in Florida. I would have liked to go down to Pinellas Park with the other protesters, but I didn’t make it. It is a couple hours ago from where I live. Another piece of evidence you didn’t mention in your letter, which you may not have been aware of, but there were signed affidavits by 2 nurses who cared for Terri who said she was responsive. These signed affidavits were ignored by the courts. Like you, I followed this case very closely and I think Terri should have been kept alive. By the way, there were some disability advocates down there protesting. They were from an organization called Not Dead Yet.