Update: Please pray that everything continues to go forward... I'll keep you informed as information is received.
Update 2 (5:18pm est): Andrea's family has run into a significant problem. There is apparently a question as to whether the level of care needed by Andrea can be provided by the IL facility. Please ask St. Luke's [832-355-1000 - more contact info] to give assurances that life-sustaining treatments will be provided to Andrea pending a transfer.
Update 3: The transfer fell apart - click here for the latest.
Original post below:
Melanie Childers wrote a thoughtful letter to you, all those who fought and prayed for the life of her sister, Andrea Clark:
My family has made the decision to move our sister to the hospital in Chicago. Thank God there is someone willing to take her. And, really, it is best to get her out of Texas, because of the futile care law here.
St. Luke's played hardball with us on this issue. We were told that we could make the decision today and they would pay the entire amount of $14 thousand to move her, but if we made the decision tomorrow, they would only pay half of it, and if it were the day after tomorrow, they would pay nothing.
As you know, I'm a Democrat, but one that is against abortion. I agree with the Republicans on that issue, at least. After this experience, though, I have to tell you: I am in absolute awe of the power that the right to life people generate. I, of course, first posted on Democratic Underground, and I have to give them some credit: they let my post stand against the rules about posting something like this under the wrong topic. They also let it stand, even though it had people's (my sister's and mine) personal numbers in it. And, of course, some people there forwarded it to other blogs. And everyone there was very supportive in their comments, as well.
But the pro-life people stepped forward and just absolutely ground St. Luke's into submission on this issue. You have, without a doubt, saved my sister's life. I want you to know that. Without the pro-life/right to life people stepping in from the very first of this fight for Andrea, we would have lost. I have never in my life seen such a centered, focused and energized group of people.
You used that energy and focus to do some good in this world and you didn't care whether you were fighting for a Democrat's life or a Republican's. Now, that's conviction.May God continue to bless Andrea and her family as they open a new chapter in their lives.
There are not enough words in the English language to tell you how grateful I and my family are, for what you people have done. When we protested at St. Luke's last Saturday, the strangers that showed up were people that had had relatives killed at St. Luke's in much the same way that St. Luke's had planned to kill my sister. These people hadn't known any better, and they hadn't known that there was such a powerful group of individuals out there, devoted to this one cause, that might be able to help them.
Because of the people in the pro-life movement, a light has been shown on the truth, for all of Texans; indeed, for all of the world to see. May God bless you for your works. And, please, do not hesitate to ask myself or my family, for anything that you may ever need in order to continue your fight for these precious lives. We are here for you and your cause, as you were here for us in ours.
Background information: click here
Updates: It looks like Andrea is "safe" - at least she will receive treatment - and bloggers (in particular John Hawkings), readers and alternate media sources (Spirit Daily and WorldnetDaily) made a difference. However, TX law remains the same and many like Andrea will suffer the fate doctors had prescribed for her. Someone needs to challenge the constitutionality of this law. In the meantime, I'm thankful for courageous attorneys, such as Jerri Lynn Ward, who are diligent advocates for the oppressed.
Wesley Smith responds:
It is ridiculous that Clarke has to be moved at all, but at least she will get the treatment she wants and needs to sustain her life. Under the Texas statute, St. Luke's is not responsible for paying for the transportation of a transfer after a futility determination, but they will be paying in this case. I am convinced that this would not have happened but for the heat people put on St. Luke's Hospital.... Now, Texas Legislature: Change the law.Here's a statement from the Hospital:
"We are delighted that this issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," said Rosemary Luquire, senior vice president and chief quality officer for the St. Luke's Episcopal Health Care System. Another senior official said the hospital's position had been about "compassion and the best interests of the patient."