Former Terri Schiavo Nurse: Terri Interacts, Michael Refused Care

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Former Terri Schiavo Nurse: Terri Interacts, Michael Refused Care Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 22, 2005

Pinellas Park, FL ( — A former nurse for Terri Schiavo who treated the disabled woman in the mid 1990s says Terri would interact with her family and staff and would even say some words in an attempt to communicate.

Carla Sauer Iyer is a registered nurse who provided Terri with care at a convalescence home from April 1995 to August 1996 and told Fox News in an interview that Terri was alert and aware.

"Her cognitive abilities including laughing, talking, letting you know she was in pain," Iyer told FOX News. She said Terri could say words like "mommy," "help me," "hi" and "pain."

While Terri stayed at the home, Iyer said nurses were always able to feed her with thick liquids such as pudding and Jell-O. Terri also had accurate relexes to various stimulation.

In the Fox News interview, Iyer also said that Terri’s estranged husband Michael would complain when staff would take care of her or feed her. He would also refused to provide her with any rehabilitative treatment.

"[T]hat’s therapy — take that washcloth out," he would tell Iyer.

Iyer said she consented to the interview "to let the truth be known, to let the people know. I was one of the few people who was able to see Terri. She was able to talk, communicate with staff … I want the public to know the truth."

She told Fox News’ "Fox and Friends" program she believes Michael "wants her to die" when asked why Michael and his attorneys were not telling the public these details.

Iyer was eventually fired by the home because of a disagreement with Michael where she claimed he injected her with insulin.

After one visit by Michael in Terri’s room for 20 minutes with the door shut, Iyer found Terri lethargic and "crying hysterically."

She checked Terri’s blood sugar levels and they were barely showing any reading on the glucometer, she told Fox News. She also saw a vial of "insulin concealed in the trash bin."

Iyer said there were needle marks underneath Terri’s breast, under her arms, and in her groin area.

She went to police with the details and then told administrators at the facility, who were upset she didn’t report to them first.

Related news stories:
Terri Schiavo Still Responsive Despite Three Days of Starvation

ABC News Poll on Terri Schiavo Case Uses Inaccurate Question

Terri Schiavo Tried to Tell Parents’ Attorney She Wanted to Live

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents –