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Cousin Wants Life-Support Restored to Brain-Damaged Teen

February 8, 1993

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ A cousin of a severely brain-damaged girl is fighting the girl’s parents and a court order that permits withholding food and water to allow her to die.

″You don’t starve a human being to death,″ said Lisa Myers, whose 15- year-old cousin Carla Myers is in a coma at Edwin Shaw Hospital. ″It’s wrong.″

The teen-ager was injured in a car crash Oct. 25 and has undergone two brain operations. Doctors say about a third of her brain is gone and, although she can open her eyes, she has no awareness.

After some initial disagreements, her divorced parents, Robin and Timothy Myers, decided to end the sustenance. Summit County Probate Judge Willard F. Spicer on Jan. 29 ruled the girl is in a permanent vegetative state.

Lisa Myers is asking Spicer to issue an emergency order reversing his previous order. No hearing has been scheduled, Spicer’s office said today.

Feeding tubes were removed from Carla on Feb. 1. Doctors said she probably would die in two or three weeks.

Ms. Myers says she has seen improvements in Carla’s condition.

″She will squeeze your hand,″ Ms. Myers, 21, of Akron, said Saturday. ″She will open her eyes and look at you.″

Her motion was filed by Cleveland lawyer Ellen Foell, who also has appealed Spicer’s original order.

Foell belongs to a church led by the Rev. Joe Slovenec, an anti-abortion activist who has spearheaded efforts to keep Carla alive.

Slovenec said Lisa Myers came to him and asked what she could do to help.

″We need standing in court to file an appeal,″ he said. ″She’s a blood relative.″

Last week, Spicer rejected an attempt by an unrelated couple to adopt Carla.

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