• Feb. 25: Terri Schiavo suffers cardiac arrest, apparently caused by a potassium imbalance, leading to brain damage from lack of oxygen. She is hospitalized and later given a feeding tube.
  • June 18: Court appoints Michael Schiavo as guardian. Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, do not object.
  • November: Michael Schiavo takes his wife to California for experimental treatment.


  • January: The Schiavos return to Florida; Terri Schiavo is moved to a rehabilitation center, where she receives 24-hour care.
  • July: Terri Schiavo is transferred to a skilled-care facility where she receives continuing neurological testing, and regular and aggressive speech-occupational therapy.


  • August: Terri Schiavo is awarded $250,000 in an out-of-court medical malpractice settlement.
  • November: The jury in the medical malpractice trial against another of her physicians awards more than $1 million. Michael Schiavo receives about $300,000, and $750,000 goes to a trust fund for his wife's medical care.


  • February: Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers have a falling-out over the course of therapy for Terri Schiavo; Michael Schiavo claims that the Schindlers demanded that he share the malpractice money with them.
  • July: The Schindlers attempt to remove Michael Schiavo as their daughter's guardian; the court later dismisses the suit.


  • March: A court-appointed guardian submits his report, stating that Michael Schiavo has acted appropriately and attentively toward Terri Schiavo.


  • May: Michael Schiavo petitions the court to authorize the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube; the Schindlers oppose, saying that their daughter would want to remain alive. The court appoints a second guardian ad litem.
  • December: The second guardian ad litem issues a report concluding that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of improvement and that Michael Schiavo's decisions may be influenced by the potential to inherit the remainder of his wife's estate.