Erick found Marlise at home Nov. 26. He performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and called for an ambulance, and Marlise was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
Electric shocks and drugs started her heart again and it continued beating with mechanical support, but her brain waves were completely flat. She had gone without breathing for too long to ever recover.
But when the heartbroken family was ready to say goodbye, hospital officials said they could not legally disconnect Marlise from life support. At the time she collapsed, she was 14 weeks’ pregnant.
And because doctors could still detect a fetal heartbeat, state law says Marlise Munoz’s body -- against her own and her family’s wishes -- must be maintained as an unwilling incubator.
“That poor fetus had the same lack of oxygen, the same electric shocks, the same chemicals that got her heart going again,” Machado said. “For all we know, it’s in the same condition that Marlise is in.”
Because of the fetus’ poor prognosis, the family has said publicly that they want to allow it to die peacefully, along with its mother.
This isn’t about pro-life or pro-choice,” Machado said Friday. He apologized for crying as we spoke.
“We want to say goodbye. We want to let them rest.”