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for immediate release




Stockton, CA - July 17, 2001

As she has day in and day out since his September 1993 car accident, Florence Wendland, Robert's Mother, spent today at his bedside.  She was with him when he died this afternoon.

Florence and Robert's other family members, including his sister, Rebekah, are understandably devastated that Robert has lost his long battle to live.  However, they have now learned, based on a press release issued by Rose Wendland's attorney, that he did have pneumonia, as they suspected.

Since June 1, 2001, Florence has been prohibited from taking Robert outside his hospital room during visits.

On July 11, she discovered that Robert was ill, but both the San Joaquin County Superior Court and 3rd District Court of Appeal refused to grant her request for information about Robert's condition and for an examination of Robert by her expert physician.

Today, Florence's attorney was at the clerk's office filing an emergency petition for review even as Robert died.

Florence and her family wish to thank the innumerable people who have supported them during their six-year battle to keep Robert alive, including but by no means limited to his caregivers at Lodi Memorial Hospital, Wesley Smith, Dr. Vincent Fortanasce, Dana Cody, and the other members of and contributors to Life Legal Defense Foundation.  They especially thank the anonymous angel who placed the telephone call to them in July 1995 alerting them to Rose's plan of withdrawing Robert's life-sustaining food and fluids.

The press is asked to respect the privacy of Florence and her family during this difficult time and direct all inquiries to their counsel, Janie Siess, at (209) 366-1446 or (209) 481-3815.

Those who wish to honor Robert's memory and his courageous battle for life are asked to send tax-deductible contributions to Life Legal Defense Foundation, PO Box 2105, Napa  CA  94558.