ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The parents of 43-year-old Terry Mace won temporary guardianship of their son Thursday after Mace’s wife moved to have his life support removed amid protests from his parents and friends.
Mace’s wife, Yvonne, did not show up for the court hearing.
Mace suffered a massive heart attack March 6 that landed him on life support at Seton Medical Center Williamson.
Two of his friends were with him when he collapsed. One of them, Sgt. Rudy Salinas, performed CPR immediately. Salinas had just finished 10 years in the military, including three tours in Iraq. Mace was working as a defense contractor at Ft. Hood, friends said.
Yvonne flew in from Colorado after hearing about her husband’s condition. She directed doctors on March 22 to remove him from life support.
But because the Maces are in the midst of a bitter divorce, and because Yvonne stood to inherit Mace’s money upon his death, Mace’s parents and friends had concerns about her making his life changing decisions.
“We were disgusted with the decision,” said Salinas. “It was two weeks he had been in the hospital and no one gave him a chance. Especially the woman he was married to for 20 plus years. You would think three children and a marriage would give you inclination to care for the man.”
- Directives to Physicians and Family or Surrogates
- Texas Dept. of Aging and Disability Services: Advance Directives
When life support was removed, Mace immediately began breathing on his own. Upon winning an emergency temporary restraining order, Mace’s parents were able to have his feeding tube reinserted the same day.
In a Williamson County courtroom on Thursday, a judge granted Terry Mace Sr. and Carol Mace temporary guardianship, removing Yvonne’s decision-making powers. Hospital officials said they believed Yvonne was en route back to Colorado.
Mace’s condition is improving every day, according to Stephen Casey, who is representing the Mace family of behalf of the Texas Center for Defense of Life.
“The report we had this morning was that his eyes are opening and he’s turning his head side to side, lifting his head up,” said Casey. Casey also said Mace had recently cashed out a 401K, and his wife stood to gain more than $150,000 upon his death.
The temporary guardianship stays in place for 60 days. If Mace is still on life support at that time, Mace’s parents say they will pursue permanent guardianship.