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Hannity

One Year Later: Terri Schiavo's Parents Remember Their Daughter

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," March 27, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO’S MOTHER: To see somebody that you love with all your heart lying there, you know she’s dying. I can’t do anything for her. I’m pleading with people to help her, and it seems like nobody listens. And she’s starving to death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Well, it’s been almost a year since Terri Schiavo passed away after her feeding tube was removed by order of a Florida court. Joining us now to tell us about their new book, "A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo, A Lesson for Us All", and about the new Terri Schiavo Schindler Foundation are Mrs. Schiavo’s — Ms. Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Good to have you both with us.

BOB SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO’S FATHER: Thank you for having us here.

HANNITY: Tell us about the foundation. What are you doing?

B. SCHINDLER: We’re trying to help other people avoid the dilemma that we ran into, because we were very naive and we didn’t know, really, what to do. And there are situations throughout the country now where people are contacting us, and we’re trying to direct them to the proper people.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: How could you have avoided the controversy, Mary?

M. SCHINDLER: Avoided the controversy? I don’t think we could have. We were thrown into it.

COLMES: Michael Schiavo says, "I didn’t want any animosity. I’m sure Terri would want the families to get along and be happy."

M. SCHINDLER: OK. If Michael didn’t want it, then he shouldn’t have gone to court to get guardianship. He started the whole thing.

COLMES: There’s been lots of stuff written in the press, and you say a lot of things in this book that the press perhaps didn’t cover. One of them that’s been written about a lot is the confrontation on Valentine’s Day of 1993, and Michael saying this was over money; everything was fine. He called you mom and dad. You lived together and had a great relationship right up until then. And then once he got a settlement, he accuses you of saying, "Where’s the money? Where’s my money?"

B. SCHINDLER: That’s exactly what I said to him. Not my money. What I said to him was the money that was in the settlement was for Terri and her rehabilitation, and I asked him if he was going to spend that money for her, and he literally told me to — that he wasn’t. That’s what started everything.

COLMES: You say he was going to put it into trust, that it was not — it was her money. It was Terri’s.

B. SCHINDLER: Yes. But he had committed to spend that money on her rehabilitation. But rather than do that, he put her in a nursing home.

M. SCHINDLER: When we lived with him, he said, "Don’t forget, Mom." He said, "When we get the money," he said, "that money is going — she’s going to Shands Hospital and she’s going to get extensive rehab."

B. SCHINDLER: And that’s how we got the money, actually, through the malpractice trial.

COLMES: Right. That was $750,000. Was that not put toward a trust for Terri, and was that not put toward her care?

B. SCHINDLER: No. Well, it was.

M. SCHINDLER: It was.

B. SCHINDLER: But it went to lawyers.

COLMES: It went to lawyers, but had there been no fight, could it have then gone to her care?

B. SCHINDLER: No. He refused to do that, to care for her. That’s what — that’s what caused the problem.

COLMES: He’s saying he changed his job, became an EMT, took her all around the country, took her to California, devoted herself to her.

B. SCHINDLER: Prior to the money.

M. SCHINDLER: Prior to the money.

B. SCHINDLER: See, there’s a whole thing — you could actually draw a line before and after.

M. SCHINDLER: That’s right.

COLMES: What is your reaction to the autopsy that said there was no abuse, that she — that basically confirmed persistent vegetative state, could not have been rehabilitated?

B. SCHINDLER: Well, I think that there was an autopsy that actually left a lot of questions. And I don’t think that issue is settled yet.

HANNITY: Let me ask you both. Even to the end, and I spend a lot of time down there with you guys at the time. You know, the burial plot, the beloved wife, "kept my promise." Do you believe this is one — adding insult even after your daughter’s death?

M. SCHINDLER: Yes. Because — well, first of all, we don’t even know if she’s there. I found out where she was buried in the St. Pete Times. OK? I opened up the paper one morning, and there was the plot in the paper. That’s how I knew she was buried there.

B. SCHINDLER: What I was going to say is that after Terri had passed away we tried to move on with our lives and dedicated ourselves with the foundation. And all this other stuff has been stirred up since then. It’s been perpetuating itself. Not — we’re not trying to do that. I mean, it’s...

HANNITY: Michael is out there attacking, very specifically, you, Bob, in the book, etc., but this is personal. Do you feel to this day that Michael was responsible for the collapse of your daughter, correct?

B. SCHINDLER: Well, the evidence is circumstantial, naturally, but the evidence points in that direction. And that issue is not over yet, either.

HANNITY: What do you mean by that? You think this is...

B. SCHINDLER: I think there’s circumstantial evidence that indicates that he was involved with that, and that issue is not closed.

M. SCHINDLER: Something happened to her that night, and there’s only two people who knew it, and she is dead.

HANNITY: Do you think in that sense he got away with a crime?

M. SCHINDLER: He got away with something.

HANNITY: He did?

M. SCHINDLER: I think so.

HANNITY: Yes. Do you think he’s violent man?

B. SCHINDLER: It’s not over yet. Let’s put it that way.

HANNITY: So there’s stuff that you’re not telling us?

B. SCHINDLER: Well, I just — I’m saying it’s not over yet. We’re focusing you now on what we can do for other people.

HANNITY: Do you hold anger over this, resentment over this? I mean, do you recover from — I mean, this was a 15-year battle that you waged for your daughter and her life.

B. SCHINDLER: Well, there are scars. Naturally, there are scars.

HANNITY: Yes.

B. SCHINDLER: But you can’t dwell on that. You have to move forward. And we’re moving forward again. I hate to keep saying the foundation, the foundation.

HANNITY: No, I understand that.

B. SCHINDLER: Because that’s our outlet.

HANNITY: That helps you?

B. SCHINDLER: And we’re helping people.

HANNITY: How hard — this is your daughter. How hard is this on you?

M. SCHINDLER: There’s a void in my life.

HANNITY: There is?

M. SCHINDLER: A big, big void. I miss — you know, come the weekend, and I was always there every weekend. Christmas, I didn’t decorate her room this year. Halloween, I didn’t decorate a room this year. Yes. The smile. Everything.

HANNITY: Do you ever go on with your life, do you ever wake up and say, you know, she would want me and her brother and her sister to go on? In other words, that you devoted 15 years of our life fighting for her.

B. SCHINDLER: Let me say this. We all believe this, that if any one of us, if it would have happened to us, Terri would have been there battling for us.

M. SCHINDLER: Exactly.

HANNITY: You did battle for her, but I watched — I watched both of you.

M. SCHINDLER: Yes, but she would do it for us, too.

B. SCHINDLER: But she was there for us, too.

HANNITY: I — I understand. But did there come a point you know you’ve given your best fight? Even though it’s changed your life and you have the foundation, do you ever get to the point where you can go on with your life in peace? Or is this always, forever, a sadness, because it was so long?

M. SCHINDLER: I’m never going to get over it.

HANNITY: I’m not saying that. No, no, I’m not. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to say is there a way that you — that she would want you to let go of her inasmuch as you can, and go on as best you can.

B. SCHINDLER: I’m sure. I’m sure, knowing her the way she was.

COLMES: One last thing. We have to run in a second. But you said it’s not over yet. Are you planning any kind of legal action against Michael Schiavo?

B. SCHINDLER: All I’m saying is that all the facts haven’t come out yet. We put a lot of the facts in our book, and I think once you read the book, you’ll see what’s in that book.

HANNITY: It’s very well documented.

COLMES: You’re not planning legal action or anything like that?

M. SCHINDLER: No.

B. SCHINDLER: I’m saying that this is not over yet.

COLMES: Thank you both very much for being with us.

B. SCHINDLER: That part of it.

M. SCHINDLER: Thanks, Alan.

B. SCHINDLER: And thank you very much for having us.

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