Terri Schiavo Biography

Terri Schiavo was an American woman who went into an irreversible persistent vegetative state after collapsing due to cardiac arrest. Her case was a right-to-die legal case.

Quick Facts

Birthday: December 3, 1963

Nationality: American

Famous: American Women Sagittarius Women

Died At Age: 41

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Also Known As: Theresa Marie Schindler

Born in: Lower Moreland Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania


Spouse/Ex-: Michael Schiavo (m. 1984)

father: Robert

mother: Mary Schindler

Died on: March 31, 2005

place of death: Pinellas Park, Florida

U.S. State: Pennsylvania

Cause of Death: Euthanasia

More Facts

education: Bucks County Community College

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Terri Schiavo was an American woman who went into an irreversible persistent vegetative state after collapsing due to cardiac arrest, which cut oxygen supply to her brain. Eight years later, her husband Michael Schiavo and her parents Robert and Mary Schindler entered into a prolonged legal battle to determine whether life support should be removed. Her husband claimed that she did not want to live artificially without the prospect of recovery, while her parents wanted continued artificial nutrition and hydration. The case involved 14 appeals and numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts, as well as five suits in federal district court. It also turned into a political tool after Republican Governor Jeb Bush and President George W. Bush intervened in favor of Terri's parents, introducing new laws that threatened to create constitutional crisis. Various activist groups from the pro-life movement and the right-to-die movement, as well as disability rights groups also actively participated in the case. However, the US Supreme Court denied all petitions and appeals and allowed the removal of her feeding tube.

Childhood & Early Life
Medical Crisis
  • On February 25, 1990, Terri Schiavo's husband found her lying face-down and unconscious on the floor in the hallway of her St. Petersburg, Florida home. The paramedics put her in ventilator at the Humana Northside Hospital, where it was determined that she had collapsed following a cardiac arrest, possibly caused by excessive liquid diet.
  • The cardiac arrest caused severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen supply, forcing her into coma for two months. Even after she came out of coma, she was in a "persistent vegetative state" in which she could respond to external stimuli, but had no significant brain function, leaving her unable to even feed herself.
  • During the first few years, both her husband and her parents fought together to keep her alive, with her husband once taking her to California to place an experimental stimulator on her brain. Back in Florida, she went through neurological testing, as well as speech and occupational therapy until 1994.
  • Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was finally removed on March 18, 2005, following which she died on March 31, and her cremated remains were buried at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida on June 20. The autopsy report released on June 15 showed signs of long-term and irreversible damage to her brain.

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