NEW YORK – Ten years ago, Christian Dwyer was in a car accident and doctors predicted he would spend the rest of his life in a persistent vegetative state — the same condition some doctors believe Terri Schiavo to be in.
Today, Dwyer is alive and well. Although confined to a wheelchair and afflicted with some permanent physical damage, he speaks clearly about his experience and his opposition to what is happening to Schiavo.
Doctors say that Schiavo (search), the 41-year-old woman who’s feeding tube was removed Friday, is in a persistent vegetative state, from which no one has ever recovered.
Others, such as Terri’s parents and a group of 30 doctors and nurses who have signed affidavits testifying as much, say she is not in such a state, and that there is a chance for recovery.
Dwyer has good reason to think Schiavo has a chance.
After five weeks in a “life-and-death situation” and three months in a coma, his doctors predicted that if he did survive, it would be as a vegetable.
His parents, despite their will for him to live, made the necessary arrangements.
“Even though that’s not what we wanted, we believed that it was possible that he could die, and we signed off for his organs to be donated,” his mother, Linda Dwyer, told FOX News' "Dayside With Linda Vester."
“Obviously, I got better,” Christian said on the program. “It was the supernatural powers of God that saved my life.”
Schiavo, however, has been in the same state since her accident 15-years-ago. And some medical professionals do not think she will live long without medical support.
Dr. Sean Morrison, professor of geriatrics and internal medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (search) in New York, is one of them. He described the physical process her body will go through without medical assistance.
“She doesn’t starve. She loses fluid from her body. She enters into a peaceful coma, and she gradually passes away. She dehydrates as a result of the medical intervention being stopped,” Dr. Morrison told FOX News.
And because she is in hospice care, she will be made comfortable with artificial saliva spray and lip balm during the dehydration.
The process typically takes two weeks before the patient dies, Morrison said.
The Dwyers, however, thinks Schiavo's rights are being violated with the removal of the tube.
“You don’t have to prove that you’re a human being to be treated as such. We don’t starve dogs to death, criminals to death and we don’t stave terrorists to death,” Linda Dwyer said. “This is incomprehensible that this would come to this.”
However, Morrison argues that because Schiavo had expressed not wanting to be kept alive with medical assistance before she entered her current state, she has the right to die.
“We are not causing Terri Schiavo’s death. We are removing a medical intervention, just as if you were attached to a breathing machine or a ventilator and I say, ‘You know what? I don’t want this anymore. Please stop it.’ The courts have said that you have that right,” Morrison said.