Timeline - Part 1

December 3, 1963
  • Theresa (Terri) Marie Schindler is born in Pennsylvania.

November 10, 1984

  • Terri Schindler, 20, and Michael Schiavo, 21, are married at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Southhampton, Pennsylvania. The union was for some time featured among "celebrity marriages" at "About.com," an apparently defunct Website about marriage.

Year 1986

  • The couple move to St. Petersburg, where Ms. Schiavo's parents had retired.

February 25, 1990

  • Ms. Schiavo suffers cardiac arrest, apparently caused by a potassium imbalance and leading to brain damage due to lack of oxygen. She was taken to the Humana Northside Hospital and was later given a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) to provide nutrition and hydration.  

May 12, 1990

  • Ms. Schiavo is discharged from the hospital and taken to the College Park skilled care and rehabilitation facility.

June 18, 1990

  • Court appoints Michael Schiavo as guardian; Ms. Schiavo’s parents do not object.

June 30, 1990

  • Ms. Schiavo is transferred to Bayfront Hospital for further rehabilitation efforts.

September 1990

  • Ms. Schiavo’s family brings her home, but three weeks later they return her to the College Park facility because the family is "overwhelmed by Terri’s care needs.”

November 1990

  • Michael Schiavo takes Ms. Schiavo to California for experimental "brain stimulator” treatment, an experimental "thalamic stimulator implant” in her brain.

January 1991

  • The Schiavos return to Florida; Ms. Schiavo is moved to the Mediplex Rehabilitation Center in Brandon where she receives 24-hour care.

July 19, 1991

  • Ms. Schiavo is transferred to Sable Palms skilled care facility where she receives continuing neurological testing, and regular and aggressive speech/occupational therapy through 1994.

May 1992

  • Ms. Schiavo’s parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, and Michael Schiavo stop living together.

August 1992

  • Ms. Schiavo is awarded $250,000 in an out-of-court medical malpractice settlement with one of her physicians.

November 1992

  • The jury in the medical malpractice trial against another of Ms. Schiavo's physicians awards more than one million dollars.  In the end, after attorneys’ fees and other expenses, Michael Schiavo received about $300,000 and about $750,000 was put in a trust fund specifically for Ms. Schiavo’s medical care.

February 14, 1993

  • Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers have a falling-out over the course of therapy for Ms. Schiavo; Michael Schiavo claims that the Schindlers demand that he share the malpractice money with them.

July 29, 1993

  • Schindlers attempt to remove Michael Schiavo as Ms. Schiavo’s guardian; the court later dismisses the suit.

March 1, 1994

  • First guardian ad litem, John H. Pecarek, submits his report.  He states that Michael Schiavo has acted appropriately and attentively toward Ms. Schiavo.

May 6, 1997

  • Michael Schiavo's attorney Deborah Bushnell writes to the Circuit Court to request that the Schindlers receive notice of all filings in the guardianship proceeding, in anticipation of a forthcoming request to withdraw Ms. Schiavo's PEG tube.  

May 1998

  • Michael Schiavo petitions the court to authorize the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube; the Schindlers oppose, saying that she would want to remain alive.  The court appoints Richard Pearse, Esq., to serve as the second guardian ad litem for Ms. Schiavo.

December 20, 1998

  • The second guardian ad litem, Richard Pearse, Esq., issues his report in which he concludes that Ms. Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of improvement and that Michael Schiavo’s decision-making may be influenced by the potential to inherit the remainder of Ms. Schiavo’s estate.  

January 24-27, 2000

February 11, 2000

  • Judge Greer rules that Ms. Schiavo would have chosen to have the PEG tube removed, and therefore, he orders it removed, which, according to doctors, will cause her death in approximately 7 to 14 days.  

March 2, 2000

  • The Schindlers file a petition with Judge Greer to allow "swallowing” tests to be performed on Ms. Schiavo to determine if she can consume—or learn to consume—nutrients on her own.

March 7, 2000

  • Judge Greer denies the Schindlers’ petition to perform "swallowing” tests on Ms. Schiavo.

March 24, 2000

  • Judge Greer grants Michael Schiavo’s petition to limit visitation to Ms. Schiavo as well as to bar pictures.  Judge Greer also stays his order until 30 days beyond the final exhaustion of all appeals by the Schindlers.  

January 24, 2001

  • Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal (2nd DCA) upholds Judge Greer’s ruling that permits the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube.
  • In re Schiavo, 780 So. 2d 176 (2nd DCA 2001), rehearing denied (Feb. 22, 2001), review denied, 789 So. 2d 348 (Fla. 2001).  (Case No.: SC01-559)

February 22, 2001

  • The Schindler family’s motion for an Appellate Court rehearing is denied.

March 12, 2001

  • Michael Schiavo petitions  Judge Greer to lift his stay, issued March 24, 2000, in order to permit the removal of Ms. Shiavo’s PEG tube.

March 29, 2001

  • Judge Greer denies Michael Schiavo’s motion to lift stay issued on March 24, 2000; Michael Schiavo can remove Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube at 1 p.m. on April 20. 

April 10, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA denies the Schindlers’ motion to extend Judge Greer’s stay, which is scheduled to expire April 20, 2001. 

April 12, 2001

April 16, 2001

  • Judge Greer denies the Schindlers’ motion to recuse himself.

April 18, 2001

April 20, 2001

  • Federal District Court Judge Richard Lazzara grants the Schindlers a stay until April 23, 2001, to exhaust all their possible appeals.

April 23, 2001

  • Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court refuses to stay the case for a review by that Court.

April 24, 2001

  • By order of trial court Judge Greer, and upon issuance of a 2nd DCA mandate, Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube is removed.

April 26, 2001

  • The Schindlers file an emergency motion with Judge Greer for relief from judgment based upon new evidence, which includes a claim that a former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo will testify that he lied about Ms. Schiavo’s wishes; Judge Greer dismisses the motion as untimely. Also on this date, the Schindlers file a new civil suit that claims that Michael Schiavo perjured himself when he testified that Ms. Schiavo had stated an aversion to remaining on life support.  Pending this new civil trial, Circuit Court Judge Frank Quesada orders Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube to be reinserted.

April 30, 2001

  • Michael Schiavo files an emergency motion with the 2nd DCA to allow the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube.

May 9, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA announces a date for the hearing of oral arguments regarding Michael Schiavo’s motion of April 30, 2001.

June 25, 2001

  • Arguments in 2nd DCA regarding Michael Schiavo’s motion of April 30, 2001.

July 11, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA remands the case back to Judge Greer.  (1) The 2nd DCA informs the Schindlers that they must address both their desire to have new evidence heard and their perjury claim against Michael Schiavo within the original guardianship proceeding; further, the Schindlers are instructed to file a new motion for relief from judgment in the guardianship proceeding. (2) The 2nd DCA instructs Judge Greer to weigh the Schinders’ new evidence in making a new determination of what Ms. Schiavo would have wanted. (3) The 2nd DCA denies Michael Schiavo’s request to discontinue the PEG tube.
  • In re Schiavo, 792 So. 2d 551 (2nd DCA 2001).

August 7, 2001

  • After the 2nd DCA remands the case back to Judge Greer, he again finds that Michael Schiavo may remove Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube on August 28.

August 10, 2001

  • Judge Greer denies the Schindlers' motion (1) to have their own doctors examine Ms. Schiavo, (2) to remove Michael Schiavo as her guardian, and (3) to disqualify himself from the proceedings.

August 17, 2001

  • Judge Greer delays the removal of Ms. Schiavo's PEG tube until October 9 in order to allow the Schindlers time to appeal.

October 3, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA delays the removal of the PEG tube indefinitely.

October 17, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA rules that 5 doctors should examine Ms. Schiavo to determine if she can improve with new medical treatment.  The Schindlers and Michael Schiavo are to choose 2 doctors each, and the court is to appoint a doctor.  The appeals court also affirms Greer’s denial of the motion to disqualify himself.
  • In re Schiavo, 800 So. 2d 640 (2nd DCA 2001).

November 1, 2001

  • The 2nd DCA denies Michael Schiavo’s motion to rehear the case.

December 14, 2001

December 19, 2001

  • Attorneys meet with a mediator to determine which tests doctors should run on Ms. Schiavo.

January 10, 2002

  • State Supreme Court stays all legal proceedings pending mediation; it orders attorneys to report on the status of mediation in sixty days. 

February 13, 2002

March 14, 2002

October 12-22, 2002

  • The trial court holds a new hearing on new potential medical treatments.

November 15, 2002

  • The Schindlers contend that Michael Schiavo might have abused Ms. Schiavo and this abuse led to her condition. They ask the court for more time to collect evidence, and to remove Michael Schiavo as guardian. 

November 22, 2002

  • Judge Greer rules that Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube should be removed January 3, 2003.
  • In re Schiavo, 2002 WL 31817960 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Nov. 22, 2002)(No. 90-2908-GB-003) 

December 13, 2002

  • Judge Greer stays his November 22 ruling: Ms. Schiavo should not have her PEG tube removed until an appeals court can rule on the case.

December 23, 2002

  • The 2nd DCA denies a motion Michael Schiavo filed seeking permission to remove the PEG tube.

June 6, 2003

  • The 2nd DCA, affirming Judge Greer’s November 2002 ruling, concludes that Michael Schiavo can remove Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube on October 15.
  • In re Schiavo, 851 So. 2d 182 (2nd DCA 2003) (No. 2D02-5394), rehearing denied (July 9, 2003),  review denied 855 So. 2d 621 (Fla. 2003). 

July 9, 2003

  • The 2nd DCA refuses to reconsider its decision.

August 22, 2003

August 30, 2003

  • Ms. Schiavo’s parents file a federal lawsuit challenging the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube. Schiavos’ petition (D). Schindler v. Schiavo, Civil Action No. 8:03-CV-1860-T-26-T-TGW

September 17, 2003

  • Judge Greer orders the removal of the PEG tube to take place on October 15, 2003. He also rejects the Schindlers’ request that Ms. Schiavo be given therapy to learn how to eat without the tube. 

October 7, 2003

  • Governor Jeb Bush files a federal court brief in support of the Schindlers’ effort to stop the removal of the PEG tube.

October 10, 2003

  • Federal Court Judge Richard Lazzara rules that he lacks the jurisdiction to hear the federal case.

October 14, 2003

  • The 2nd DCA refuses to block Judge Greer’s order to remove the PEG tube.

October 15, 2003

  • Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube is once again removed.

October 17, 2003

  • The Florida Circuit Court in Pinellas County and the First District Court of Appeal refuse to grant a request by "supporters" of the Schindlers to direct Gov. Bush to intervene in the case.

October 19, 2003

  • The Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. files a federal court lawsuit that claims that the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube is abuse and neglect.
  • Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. v. Schiavo, No. 8:03-CV-2167-T-23EAJ

October 20, 2003

  • The Florida House of Representatives passes a bill, "Terri’s Law,” that allows the governor to issue a "one-time stay in certain cases.” 

October 21, 2003

  • The Florida Senate passes the bill; Governor Bush issues an executive order directing reinsertion of the PEG tube and appointing a guardian ad litem for Ms. Schiavo. 
  • Michael Schiavo files a state-court lawsuit arguing that "Terri’s Law” is unconstitutional and seeking an injunction to stop the reinsertion of the PEG tube; the court requests briefs on the Constitutional arguments about "Terri’s Law.” 
  • Schiavo v. Bush. No. 03-008212-CI-20 (Cir. Ct. Pinellas County, Florida).
  • The federal court denies the motion for a temporary restraining order filed in the lawsuit of the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.
  • Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. v. Schiavo, 2003 WL 23305833, 17 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D 291 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 21, 2003). 
  • Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube is reinserted.

October 22, 2003

  • David Demers, Chief Judge for the Pinellas County Circuit Court, orders both the Schindlers and Michael Schiavo to agree within 5 days on an independent guardian ad litem as required under the Governor’s order.  ("Terri’s Law” directs: "Upon issuance of the stay, the chief judge of the circuit court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the patient to make recommendations to the Governor and the court.”) 

October 28, 2003

October 29, 2003

  • Michael Schiavo files court papers in his state-court lawsuit, arguing that "Terri’s Law” is unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union has joined Michael Schiavo. 

October 31, 2003

  • Judge Demers appoints Dr. Jay Wolfson as Ms. Schiavo’s guardian ad litem. Dr. Wolfson holds both medical and legal degrees; he is also a public health professor at the University of South Florida.  He is supposed to represent Ms. Schiavo’s best interest in court, but he has no authority to make decisions for her. 

November 4, 2003

  • Governor Jeb Bush asks Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird to dismiss Michael Schiavo’s suit (filed October 21, 2003) that challenges "Terri’s Law.”

November 8, 2003

  • Judge Baird denies Governor Bush’s motion to dismiss the state-court suit.

November 10, 2003

  • Governor Bush appeals Judge Baird’s decision; the filing of the appeal has the effect of staying the removal of Ms. Schiavo’s PEG tube.

November 14, 2003

November 14, 2003

  • In response to Judge Baird’s lifting the stay, the 2nd DCA issues an indefinite stay.

November 19, 2003

November 21, 2003

  • Florida Sens. Stephen Wise and Jim Sebesta introduce legislation (S692) that would require persons in persistent vegetative states to be administered medically supplied nutrition and hydration in the absence of a living will, regardless of family beliefs about what those patients would have wanted. The measure is withdrawn from consideration on April 16, 2004. 

December 1, 2003

December 10, 2003

  • The 2nd DCA refuses to remove Judge Baird, who is the presiding judge in the state-court lawsuit filed October 21, 2003. 
  • Bush v. Schiavo, 861 So. 2d 506 (2nd DCA 2003) (No. 2D03-5244)