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Terri Schiavo’s family announces book plans

Schindlers’ book likely to compete with Michael Schiavo’s memoir
/ Source: The Associated Press

Terri Schiavo’s parents and siblings are writing a book about their struggle in the epic end-of-life case that divided the country and captured the attention of everyone from the Pope John Paul II to President Bush.

The yet untitled memoir by parents Bob and Mary Schindler, brother Bobby Schindler and sister Suzanne Vitadamo will be published by in March to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of the brain-damaged woman, whose feeding tube was removed after her husband, Michael Schiavo, won a court order to do so.

“This book is the moving story of an ordinary family caught up in extraordinary circumstances,” Jamie Raab, senior vice president and publisher at Warner Books, said Tuesday.

The Schindlers’ book is likely to compete for space on the shelves with a memoir by Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, who fought his in-laws in court for eight years to end her life, arguing she would not have wanted to be kept alive in what doctors called a persistent vegetative state. Michael Schiavo is collaborating with author Michael Hirsh on the book “Terri: the Truth,” also planned for release in March by Dutton Publishing.

The Schindlers will donate profits from their book to a foundation they established to protect severely disabled people, Warner Books said.

Terri Schiavo was 26 when she collapsed in her apartment in 1990 and was left with irreversible brain damage. Her parents and siblings fought to keep her alive, contending that she had some level of consciousness and interacted with them when they visited.

Her collapse was for years attributed to an eating disorder, but medical examiners could not say for certain what caused it. The autopsy supported Michael Schiavo’s contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state with no consciousness and no hope of recovery.

Earlier this year, Mark Fuhrman, the former Los Angeles police investigator turned true-crime author, published a book about the case titled “Silent Witness: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo’s Death.”