It was a question that bitterly divided the nation in the '90s: Should Terri Schiavo be "kept alive" or "allowed to die"? Terri's mother and siblings were very vocal about their desire to continue medical treatment for her, however, in 2005, Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, won his legal battle to have her feeding tube removed. She died on March 31, 2005.
Terri's brother Bobby Schindler and mother Mary Schindler recently spoke with "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" about their lives today and how Terri's impact continues nine years after her death.
"There's not a day that doesn't go by where we don't think about my sister," Bobby says in the above video.
"She fought very hard," Mary says. "Terri did not want to die. She was responding even [until] the very end."
Terri Schiavo suffered severe brain damage after collapsing in her home on Feb. 25, 1990 at the age of 26. Her heart stopped briefly, cutting off oxygen to her brain. The cause of her collapse was a subject of debate. Her doctors and husband blamed an eating disorder, while her parents accused Michael Schiavo of abusing their daughter.
Mary says that Terri's father, who passed away in 2009, never seemed to move on from the tragic situation. "The impact on my husband was, I think, greater than most," she says. "Bob was very upset because he couldn't help her."
"Having to watch her die a slow death like that was completely barbaric and inhumane," Bobby adds. "It's what no family should ever have to witness."
In an effort to help other families going through what Terri and her family went through so publicly, they launched the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. "In '05, after [Terri] died, we opened up our foundation to try to help people that were in fear of having their feeding tube removed," Mary explains. (The foundation is currently involved in the case of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead last month.)
"We get emails, phone calls every day. People letting us know how Terri has changed their lives in some way," Bobby says. "We're just doing what we can to help these individuals that so desperately need our help."
Also in the video, the family discusses Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and reveals their thoughts on him today.