In an unprecedented move, Attorney Christopher Johnson has filed with the New York State Supreme Court, asking the judicial body to allow Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo, to serve as guardian for Gary Harvey.
Mr. Harvey, a Chemung County resident, was involved in a 2006 home accident which left him with a profound brain injury.
His spouse, Mrs. Sara Harvey, sought guardianship only to be denied by the Chemung County Court which ultimately appointed the Chemung County Department of Social Services as Gary’s guardian. Since that time, Mrs. Harvey has been in a prolonged court battle with Chemung County officials and the New York State Court System.
According to sources familiar with the petition, Mr. Schindler is described as an “independent and unbiased person” in the matter.
“I have reviewed the findings of Honorable Robert C. Mulvey, Justice of the Supreme Court of March 13, 2007,” Mr. Schindler noted in the Nov. 2012 legal action. “In paragraph 9, the Court states at this time, ‘…that there is no suitable persons or corporations available and willing to act as guardian of Mr. Harvey, but for the Chemung County Department of Social Services.’
“I am a suitable person and I am willing and available to act as guardian of Mr. Harvey,” Mr. Schindler said.
In a Dec. 2010 exclusive interview with Big 3 News, Mrs. Harvey shared her husband’s medical plight with our readers, the plight of a man whom she not only called her husband but her friend.
“We are best friends and trust each other completely,” Mrs. Harvey explained. “We enjoyed our home very much. We have never spent time apart intentionally.”
In May 2009, the ethics committee from the hospital where Mr. Harvey was residing recommended the removal of his nutrition and hydration tube, and also issued a “do-not-resuscitate order” (DNR).
Fortunately, the court denied that request. However, inexplicably, the DNR stayed in place and Gary remains under the control of Chemung County, despite the fact that the county tried to end his life.
“I have raised the question many times, ‘How can Chemung County, Guardian of Mr. Harvey, be acting in his best interest when they, in fact, tried to kill him?
“From all indications, it appears that Mr. Harvey has been warehoused and denied the opportunity to receive the care and rehabilitative services that would benefit his condition,” stated Mr. Schindler.
A judge has ordered Chemung County to show cause as to why the requested relief, namely the modification to guardianship and removal of guardian for Mr. Harvey, should not be granted.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 30, 2013.
It is the hope that with this filing, the court will recognize that Mr. Harvey deserves the chance to receive aggressive therapy and rehabilitation. Certainly from Mr. Schindler’s experience with brain injured persons, he would afford Mr. Harvey the help he needs in the hopes to significantly improve his quality of life.
Bobby Schindler,the brother of Terri Schiavo, is the Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, established in 2005 to protect the rights of the medically vulnerable.
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