Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman who spent 15 years connected to a feeding tube in an epic legal and medical battle that went all the way to the White House and Congress, died Thursday, 13 days after the tube was removed. She was 41.
Word of the death came shortly after the parents, through their adviser, asked that they be allowed to be at her bedside when she died.
It was nearly two weeks ago that the brain-damaged woman was disconnected from the feeding tube that had kept her alive for years. Even after that, her parents continued their desperate legal battle to have the tube reattached.
An autopsy is planned, with both sides hoping it will shed more light on the extent of her brain injuries.
Extended Web Coverage
Timeline in the Case of Terri Shiavo:
- Feb. 25, 1990: Schiavo collapses in her home from a possible potassium imbalance caused by an eating disorder, temporarily stopping her heart and cutting off oxygen to her brain.
- November 1992: Schiavo's husband, Michael, wins more than $1 million in a malpractice suit.
- July 29, 1993: Bob and Mary Schindler try to have Michael removed as their daughter's guardian. They accuse him of not properly caring for Schiavo. The case is later dismissed.
- Feb. 11, 2000: Circuit Judge George W. Greer approves Michael Schiavo's request to have Terri's feeding tube removed, agreeing that she had told her husband she wouldn't want to be kept alive artificially.
- April 2001: State and U.S. Supreme courts refuse to intervene, and Schiavo's tube is removed, but another judge orders it reinserted two days later.
- Feb. 13, 2002: Mediation attempts fail, and Michael Schiavo again seeks permission to remove feeding tube.
- Nov. 22, 2002: After hearing medical testimony, Greer finds no evidence that Schiavo has any hope of recovery and again orders tube removed.
- Oct. 15, 2003: Tube removed for second time.
- Oct. 21, 2003: Republican Gov. Jeb Bush signs hastily passed bill allowing him to intervene, then orders tube reinserted.
- Dec. 2, 2003: Independent guardian finds "no reasonable medical hope" that Schiavo will improve.
- Sept. 23, 2004: Florida Supreme Court strikes down the law that allowed Bush to intervene and have the tube reinserted as unconstitutional.
- Feb. 25, 2005: Greer gives permission for tube removal at 1 p.m. March 18.
- March 16-17: Florida House passes bill intended to keep Schiavo alive but the Senate defeats a different version. In Washington, lawmakers can't reconcile differences in bills passed by the House and Senate.
- March 18: Feeding tube removed. Greer rules against congressional Republicans who had tried to put off tube removal by seeking her appearance at hearings.
- March 19: Congressional leaders from both parties agree on a bill that would allow a federal court to review the case and prolong Schiavo's life.
- March 20-21: Congress passes the bill after members scramble to return to Washington for an early morning vote. President Bush signs the bill outside his White House bedroom. Parents file an emergency request with a federal judge to have the tube reconnected.
- March 22: U.S. District Judge James Whittemore refuses to order the reinsertion of the tube. Parents appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- March 23: The 11th Circuit declines to order the reinsertion of the tube. The Schindlers turn to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- March 24: The U.S. Supreme Court denies the appeal.
- March 25: The Schindlers again ask Greer to intervene, saying Schiavo tried to say, "I want to live."
- March 26: Greer rejects another effort by the Schindlers to get the feeding tube reinserted; Florida Supreme Court declines to intervene.
- March 29: 11th Circuit agrees to consider the Schindlers' emergency bid for a new hearing on whether to reconnect her feeding tube.
- March 30: The 11th Circuit declines to intervene. Hours later, the Schindlers appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which also refuses to intervene.
- March 31: Terri Schiavo dies at 41.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.