February 19, 2005

My uncle died last year.

My uncle died last year. He was on a ventilator for a week and a machine was the only thing that allowed him to breathe. I told my husband, if that were to happen to me, please offer no heroics. I do not want to live that way. My aunt finally gave permission for the hospital to remove the machines and we waited. By a miracle, he started to gasp for air, shallow breaths at first. Then regularly.

He was not ready yet.

My cousins went into the hospital room with my grandmother and they waited while he slept in a deep dream of unconsciousness. Suddenly, his blood pressure shot up and it was as though he was fighting for every breath. Then my family in that room began to sang old religious songs...his eye is on the sparrow... And for a brief faint moment, he smiled. His eyes fluttered opened then shut again for good.

Three days later, on his own terms, he died; fighting the entire way.

Why do I recount this time?

My husband knows because of that experience that I do not want to be on life support. This is not an uncommon story in families. Michael Schiavo recounted a time during testimony when his grandmother was ill to prove that Terri had told him the same thing.

When I told my husband that I did not want to be hooked up to a machine. I did not mean feeding tubes. There are many people who have digestive problems and can not eat without the assistance of a feeding tube. Just because they require an IV to keep them alive, does not mean that they should die. People require medicines, insulins, therapies everyday to keep them alive, why is Terri so different? Her organs are all functioning. She is not in a coma. She smiles when she sees her mom, plays with her dad; she tries to talk with them. No she may never get any better than what she is right now. But doesn't she deserve the chance?

I am 26 years old. The same age as Terri when she suffered brain damage. My life is important to me and God has a purpose for me. If I were to become disabled tomorrow, should the quality of that life be judged against the quality of the life I have today? If for some reason I were to suffer an accident, and it changed me into a different person than who I am today; someone reliant on others for most things, does that mean I should die?

This is about Terri Schiavo today, but it could be about you tomorrow...

Here are a few recent Terri posts around the web in case you missed them, they're not to be missed:

No Gardens on a Summer's Day

Human Life is Worth Living

Will You be Terri Schiavo's Voice?

Posted by Jody at February 19, 2005 06:28 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?