Transcript: A Doctor Who Has Examined Terri Talks with Hannity & Colmes

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Mar. 21, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we continue on "Hannity and Colmes," I'm Sean Hannity. Right now, we're broadcasting live outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is right now. Of course, her feeding tube has not been reinserted as of this point.

Joining us now is Dr. Bill Hammesfahr. And Dr. Hammesfahr, thanks for being with us.

DR. BILL HAMMESFAHR: Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: You were nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine?


HANNITY: In 1999? For your work...

HAMMESFAHR: ... in patients like Terri. For brain injury and stroke patients. We discovered how you get these people better, and we did it for 10 years with Medicare. We got evaluated by the state of Florida and we first discovered a technique that works in people like Terri.

HANNITY: This is what I want to talk about. You have spent, unlike Robert Wexler, who was commenting on medical issues this weekend, you spent how many hours with Terri?

HAMMESFAHR: I spent about 10 hours with Terri across three separate occasions, and I spent a lot of time with videotapes, the medical record which is in boxes and boxes and boxes. for about a year. And of course, you know, I spending time interviewing the family and people who actually have seen her. So I've spent a lot of time with her.

HANNITY: Do you believe she is aware, conscious and responsive?

HAMMESFAHR: Terri is completely aware and conscious and responsive. She is like a child with cerebral palsy. We have kids in the Pinellas County school system every day that are much worse than her, that we're educating.

HANNITY: Doctor, wait a minute. I've got to get this straight here.

You were nominated to get a Nobel Peace Prize in this very work. Are you saying that this woman could be rehabilitated?

HAMMESFAHR: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Could she talk one day?


HANNITY: Then how is it possible we're in this position if you have examined her, you were up for a Nobel Prize. I -- this is mind boggling to me.

HAMMESFAHR: I don't understand it myself. You know, this is a -- this is a case of a terrible error that's happened and it's a grievous case.

You know, what struck me about Congress, in the last couple of days is that there we have physicians who examined the videotapes, examined the same evidence I had, examined my records, my evaluation of her, stepped forward and said, this is not a person in a coma. This is not a person in PVS (a persistent vegetative state). We have to stop this.

HANNITY: All right.

HAMMESFAHR: It just goes to show, you do not want your medical care delivered by a judge.

HANNITY: Well, this is what I want to understand. This is your area of expertise that got you nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in medicine, the Nobel Prize.

And you're saying after a thorough examination of 10 hours total with her, and an examination of records and an examination of records and an examination of tapes regarding her, that she could be rehabilitated. What about all of these other people that have said that that's not possible, how can we have disparaging?

HANNITY: It's not all of these other people. There's four people on the other side, who say she can't be rehabilitated. All were paid individuals. Three by George Felos...

HANNITY: ...and you're not paid?

HAMMESFAHR: I was not paid. Now, if you look at the people who are on Terri's side and stepped forward, at last count, two weeks ago, 33 M.D.s, brain injury specialists from around the country, places like UCLA, Tulane, LSU, Boston University --Thirty-three physicians has stepped forward to say that this person can be rehabilitated. She's not in PVS, not in a coma. And the -- Judge Greer ignored this.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Dr. Hammesfahr, it's Alan Colmes in New York. Thank you for being with us.

One of the other doctors who examined her, and by the way, among those doctors there were those who were not paid, who were independent, who were not on either side. --

Dr. Ron Cranford, who'll be on this show tomorrow night. I want to put up what he said:

He said, "She's vegetative. She's flat out vegetative. There's never been a shread of doubt that she's vegetative, and nothing's going to change that."

"This has been a massive propaganda campaign, which has been very successful, because it deludes the public into thinking she's really there."

Explain to me, as a lay person, what I'm supposed to believe, hearing medical authorities saying what you say and saying what Cranford says?

HAMMESFAHR: Well, I think you need to go and look at the videotape of Dr. Cranford. Dr. Cranford's videotape compliments Terri on following commands. At one point he moves a balloon around in front of her and he again compliments that she is able to see it that she can follow commands.

And I also think that you need to look a little closer. Dr. Cranford's work has been attacked by other medical professionals in peer reviewed journals such as "Lancet." So I think that we to look a little bit deeper at Dr. Cranford.

COLMES: Well, he's going to be here tomorrow night. We'll ask him. But Judge Greer also said that you said you've have treated patients worse off than Mrs. Schiavo but have not produced any case histories. Can you tell us of one?

HAMMESFAHR: Oh, that's not true. That's not true.

COLMES: You didn't produce any evidence?

HAMMESFAHR: Well, the specific request was to produce a videotape of a person exactly like Terri Schiavo. No two patients are exactly alike but, in fact, we have videotapes and we're releasing them tomorrow and have released them previously, if you call my office, you'll get informational videotapes of people much worse than Terri who are better, one of them three months into their treatment is talking.

COLMES: All right. We would love to know of a similar case where somebody got cured. Thank you for being with us.

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