Erick Munoz begged God to take him instead of his pregnant, brain-dead wife, who lay hooked up to a ventilator for weeks as her family fought to allow her to die in peace.
On Sunday, the hospital relented, turning off the machines that had kept Marlise Munoz alive since she suffered a blood clot Nov. 26.
Erick Munoz of Texas, husband of brain-dead pregnant woman Marlise Munoz, tells CNN he ‘asked God to take’ him instead of his wife.
The legal battle, which ended with a judge ruling “Mrs. Munoz is dead” last week, kept alive the pain her husband felt for the loss of his wife and his 23-week-old fetus, which he named Nicole before the machines were removed.
Erick Munoz was barred from taking his wife off life support until a judge’s ruling last week.
“Many a night, I asked God to take me instead,” Munoz told Anderson Cooper on CNN in an interview Wednesday. “But you can’t turn off that knowledge, that you know how bad it was … And I promised her, I told her I will honor your wishes.”
Lynne Machado, mother of brain-dead pregnant Texas woman Marlisa Machado, looks on as her son-in-law, Marlise’s husband Erick Munoz, speaks to CNN Wednesday.
Erick Munoz and his wife, both paramedics who have a 15-month-old son, had asked the other to let them die if an injury left them incapacitated.
But a Texas law requires pregnant women to be kept on life support until the fetus is viable — a tall task for the Munoz family, considering the baby was only two weeks old when Marlise collapsed.
Erick and Marlise Munoz with their first chid. The couple, both paramedics, verbally agreed they would let them die if incapacitated.
Further complicating things was a determination that the fetus was not viable because it was found to be “distinctly abnormal.”
Pro-life demonstrators pray during a memorial at John Peter Smith Hospital Sunday.
The family filed suit to have the right to let the woman die.
Erick Munoz, husband of Marlise Munoz, is escorted out of court Friday.
“We looked her in the eye and told her (the hospital wanted her on life support),” an emotional Erick Munoz told CNN on Wednesday. “And for the state of Texas, to not let us do that, was hard. You know, you want to keep you word to your loved one.”
The decision, and the drawn out, public case, sparked strong emotions on both sides of the argument. Protesters in favor of removing the machines and others siding with the law, stood vigil outside the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
Ron T. Ennis/AP
Afton Brown was among a few showing support for Erick Munoz and his family outside court in Fort Worth, Texas.
Marlise’s mother, Lynne Machado, though, told CNN the body of her daugher was “an empty shell.”
Erick Munoz fought for his wife’s right to die peacefully, even with Texas law stating pregnant women should be kept alive until baby becomes viable.
“You could smell it, the deterioration,” she said of her daughter’s prolonged hospitalization.
But, she added,” closure began after she was disconnected.”