Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My Two Terri s

Terri, meet Terri. You don’t know one another but we all have something
in common. I have had the pleasure to have been involved in heroic efforts
to save you both from the Euthanasia movement’s diabolic plans to steal your lives.

Uncanny isn’t it?

Theresa Corrao and I crossed paths in 1996. My husband and I were just about
to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. One fateful day, I heard a pathologist
named Paul Corrao on television stating that his sister Theresa was in a hospice
and was being severely overmedicated. He was trying to rescue her from the facility
and save her life. He mentioned one Susan Fox Buchanan – a Denver elder care “expert.”

Having sat in on numerous Governor’s Commission on Life and the Law meetings
in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that name jumped out at me as one heavily invested
in the pro-death ethic that so permeated the beautiful state of Colorado in those years.

I contacted Paul Corrao and warned him that there was an insidious plan afoot in my
state that he should be aware of. From that point forward Paul and I worked togetherto save Theresa from those who sought to destroy her. After all, Theresa had signed an advanced directive waiving extraordinary care hadn’t she?

Paul and I persuaded Theresa that life was worth living and that she actually might
like to sign a will to live. Unfortunately, Theresa Corrao had a severe bedsore that
needed surgical repair. Ironically, she worked for the hospital where the surgery
would take place and she had insurance to cover it with her employer, Columbia HCA.

During the planning stages for the surgery, Paul, insisted that the surgery be performed under a local anesthesia. As a pathologist, he believed that his sister’s liver was quite compromised by her treatment for breast cancer as well as the extremely high amounts of morphine used in hospice prior to her leaving the facility. As Paul left the hospital the evening before the surgery, doctors approached Terri and persuaded her to agree to a general anesthetic, possibly stating that they wouldn’t be able to manage her pain with a local.

Theresa underwent approximately 5 hours of surgery that fateful day. As I entered her room post surgery to confer with Paul, death was in the air. As he had feared, her liver was unable to process the anesthesia from such a lengthy procedure. Theresa Corrao died shortly thereafter, destroyed by the pro-death movement in Colorado – progenitor of the euthanasia movement, nationally.

Terri Schiavo’s loved ones were holding a 24hour prayer vigil for her in front of her
Pinellas Park, FL hospice. This event was to thrust her into the international spotlight, where she would remain, for the next 18 months. During that period, I would travel to Florida five times to work, tirelessly, to save Terri’s life. I had the honor and pleasure to work alongside hundreds, if not thousands of individuals dedicated to helping Terri’s parents and siblings spare her life.

This incredible woman inspired us all to work to protect her from the insidious conspiracy by the so called “right to die” forces which found themselves in the perfect storm of circumstances arrayed to deliver Terri to their dark plot.

Former husband, Michael Schiavo, was able to persuade nearly every level of government, judiciary and media that she wouldn’t want to live as a disabled
person. Despite heroic efforts and prayers by pro-lifers and disability activists
in the US, it apparently wasn’t meant to be.

As a member of a team of lobbyists working to pass the “Jessie Jackson sip of water compromise” I am pleased to say that we never gave up, as long as Terri held on, for
nearly 14 days without food or water – while not even an ice chip was allowed to quench her insatiable thirst.

Terri either passed or was pushed into eternity on March 31, 2005 at the end of Holy
Week. She and her family taught us a lot about love, perseverance and dedication to family.

Her president and governor taught us they knew - little to nothing - about the constitution, which guaranteed Terri due process of law and religious liberty, as well as freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

As our nation this week mourns the passing of Pope John Paul and tries to make
sense of Terri’s senseless death and the Florida corruption which ensured it, I ponder the irony of losing 2 friends named Terri to a death machine that has its origin in my beautiful state, Colorado. Like the hospice grounds where Terri was held hostage for the past five years, what looks beautiful to the undiscerning eye, often has below the surface – deadly evil.