A doctor close to the Terri Schiavo case told the Florida Baptist Witness that the 41-year-old disabled woman could actually be fed orally if it were allowed.
“The important thing for people to understand is that she can eat and swallow right now,” said William Hammesfahr, a neurologist who has examined Schiavo. He is in many of the videos circulated through the news media showing that Schiavo is at times responsive and aware.
“They are truly withholding food from a person who is awake, alert, and can eat and swallow,” Hammesfahr said. After spending at least 10 hours with Schiavo several years ago, he told Florida Judge George W. Greer that she can improve with therapy.
Hammesfahr said his credibility had been questioned at the time, but he has since been vindicated in court and currently maintains a thriving private practice in Clearwater, Fla. Despite reports attacking him, he said he has never lost his license to practice medicine and currently is involved in litigation surrounding the ordeal.
Hammesfahr was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1999 for his work in brain injury and stroke. He is a recognized expert in treating neurological disorders, having successfully treated thousands of patients using vasodilator therapy, which increases blood flow to the brain, thus healing conditions previously thought to be untreatable.
Standing with a handful of supporters outside of the hospice late in the evening Mar. 19, Hammesfahr told the Witness Schiavo previously has swallowed pudding and daily swallows almost two liters of water by virtue of being able to process her own saliva and sinus drainage.
“That’s liquid and that’s the most difficult thing to swallow,” Hammesfahr said of her saliva. “If she can swallow that she can swallow food or pudding.”
What more could you possibly want?