Endorsement: Pilar Schiavo for Assembly Person of the Year
Pilar Schiavo’s story was one of suffering. While waiting for a heart transplant, Schiavo, a widow who lived outside of Miami, lost her children, two dogs, and all friends and family. According to her family, she became very ill, often speaking gibberish. Her family said this made her appear even more crazy than she already was.
As her daughter, Jodi S. Berra, put it, “She was a woman with a brain who only had one functioning lung, who was dying after a long fight against all odds.”
A struggle to find a donor became a fight to obtain health insurance.
But that struggle was not the end. According to family, Schiavo’s first two weeks on her death bed resulted in her “going down a rabbit hole of psychosis.” Her friends and family, meanwhile, watched her disappear into hallucinations.
“The first thing she did was she got really angry,” recalled Berra. “I’m just saying this because it can happen. If you’re trying to communicate, sometimes you lose it and there’s no telling when it’ll end. I don’t think it really came as a shock to her, no one really did. But even if she had just been calm, at the time I would have thought she was crazy. The fact that she was angry in her mind, it could be a good thing.”
Schiavo’s family made their first public appearance at a news conference in January 2006, in which they begged her to make a decision. She initially agreed to make the decision and then had surgery, but she eventually refused a second surgery for the same condition. In February 2007, a Miami judge ordered that Schiavo face the prospect of being put to death.
At this time, Schiavo lost her husband and the family dog to cancer. Her family said that she was also diagnosed with an eating disorder, for which she received treatment. Schiavo’s lawyers said she was diagnosed with