St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on March 10, 1996 · Page 5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 5

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 10, 1996
Page 5
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3 MAR 10 1996 6A ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 1996 Estate From page one kara, 49, a former St. Louisan now living in Cuba, Mo., who says she is Saling's long-lost daughter born out of wedlock. So confident is she of her claim, she says, that she wants to force the exhumation of Saling's body from the Bollinger County Cemetery to allow DNA testing. There's a lot at stake. i When the Bollitiger County authorities arrived at Saling's property after his death, they found a house so crammed with magazines, books, newspapers, clothing and antique glassware that they could barely squeeze from one room to the next. They found outbuildings and trailers filled with tools and pieces of farm machinery. And all that money. Authorities reportedly discovered several thousand dollars under a rug in Saling's bedroom, and more money inside a junked Rambler out in his yard. There's another report money was found in the old outhouse about 100 feet from Saling's front door. Early court records indicate that at least $12,500 in cash was recovered, but neighbors said' they have heard the total could be much higher. The public administrator assigned to oversee the estate isn't talking; neither is his attorney. Nobody knows how much might still remain hidden. The auctioneer who auctioned off his property wouldn't say how much money the sale realized, but estimates from Makara and townspeople range from $60,000 to $150,000. The land itself is valued at $50,000. 'She's Just An Outsider' "I want my father's land," says Makara, who admits she had not spoken to Saling for 10 years. "That's where my family lived. I didn't know my father very well, but I did care about him." Says Paul L. Stone Jr., a lawyer from Sullivan, 111., representing the other relatives: "Until she can prove she's his daughter, she's just an outsider." Makara's claim seems to be well-documented. Her mother maintains that Saling was her father. Several of Saling's friends say that Saling introduced Makara as his daughter at his own father's funeral in 1979. Then there are the photographs. After Saling died, the public administrator handling Saling's estate gave Makara two photographs in a double, gold frame that had been found in Saling's house. On one side is a picture of Saling as a young man; on the other is a photo of a little girl in a blue dress that Makara says is a picture of her when she was a baby. Deanie Givens, a neighbor of Saling for 40 years, says she has no doubt that Makara is Saling's daughter and his legitimate heir. "Mac would never say somebody was his daughter if she wasn't," Givens said. "When he introduced us, it gave me a shock. But she's his daughter." Said Marler: "You better believe he talked about her. He figured she would end up with what he had." Richard Saling and Makara's mother first met, friends of the family say, shortly before World War II. Saling served in the Army from 1942 until early 1945, and when he returned, the couple were engaged in St. Louis. In the summer of 1945, Makara's mother learned she was pregnant. Makara says her mother told her that shortly afterward, she broke off the engagement. Saling A :ir.: ; i III ' . , '4 i 1 '.- 1 , :.F-4V'-- ; i '-'ih 'I 1 i . J I XI ii !? 1 v . - r' ' ' - LTi2irt i It ,.3- ,fat Hoping For DNA Jim RackwitzPost-Dispatch Some of the items that litter the front yard of the late Richard Saling of Bollinger County, Mo. Some of Saling's relatives are haggling over his estate. had suffered a nervous breakdown in the Army, and Makara s mother said she was afraid of him. After the breakup, Makara's mother said she was so worried about Saling trying to take custody of her daughter that she had another man's name put on her birth certificate. The idea was to make it appear that the other man was the real father. Makara said she was 13 years old before she learned that the man she thought was her father actually was her stepfather. She was 30 years old, she said, before she finally met Richard Saling. She said he stepped off the porch of the house, embraced her and remarked, "You're a pretty one." Makara still keeps a handful of photographs from that day in 1977, photos of her with Saling and with Saling's father. She said she continued to visit Saling over the next several years but worried that he didn't want her to come anymore. "I had this fear that if I kept going out there, one day he would tell me he didn't want anything to do with me any more," Makara said. "And I couldn't bear that." Little by little, she stopped visiting him. She did not learn that Saling had died until late January 1995, nearly a month after his funeral. Jim RackwitzPost-Dispatch Jackie Lee Makara of Cuba, Mo., holds a necklace she says Richard Saling gave her when she visited him in 1977. Makara says she is Saling's daughter, born out of wedlock. Makara said she had no idea that Saling was worth so much money when he died. Neighbors said he never held a job but got about $2,000 a month in veteran's benefits. The house had no running water or indoor plumbing. Saling burned firewood in a big stove in the middle of the living room before the pain in his legs became so bad he had to move to the apartment in Glenallen several months before he died. Marler, 74, who lives with 25 stray dogs atop a little hill across Route 34 from the Saling property, says that Saling was never a public man. "You didn't ask Mac Saling anything," Marler said. "He told you what he wanted you to know, and that wasn't very much." Earlier last week, Bill Zook, a friend of Saling's who had stopped by Barker's store in Glenallen, said he'd be surprised if some of the locals hadn't gone out to the old Saling place to try to find some of the treasure that might still be there. "They'd probably do it if they thought they could get away with it," he said. On Wednesday, Jackie Makara and her mother drove from Cuba to Rolla for blood tests. The first step, Makara said, is to compare their blood with the blood of the man who is listed as her father on her birth certificate and prove that he was not her natural father. The next step, if the court allows it: the exhumation of Saling's body. No one knows when that might happen. "I don't know how long it will take," Makara admits. "But it's the right thing." Family Sues Hospital Over Girl's Death 1996, Newhouse News Service HERSHEY, Pa. A York, Pa., family is suing Hershey Medical Center for removing their toddler from a life-support machine without their permission or any consent from a court. Doctors said they knew Brianne Rideout's parents vehemently opposed removing the 3-year-old from a ventilator. The parents, Marlene and Tyrone Rideout, repeatedly told physicians that they still hoped their daughter, who was in a coma but was not brain dead, would survive her brain cancer. But if she did not, they said, they wanted her to die at home. Brianne's doctor said the ventilator was not prolonging her life, simply prolonging "her dying process." He removed Brianne from the ventilator : on July 15, 1992, even as her parents were in another room of the hospital on the telephone with a lawyer to try to stop the disconnection. Brianne died 27 hours later. The case of the Rid'eouts vs. Hershey Medical Center pits an anguished family with deep personal convictions against a prestigious institution that says it offered "medically appropriate" care throughout Brianne's treatment. Moreover, the suit will force the courts to again examine some of the most wrenching issues in medical ethics: When should doctors abandon life-sustaining treatment they deem futile? And who has the ultimate right to make those decisions the courts, hospitals or families? The Rideouts' case is unique, because the parents were fighting to keep the child alive, clinging to their belief that, even in a coma, Brianne's life had value. She had been diagnosed with brain stem glioblastoma, a fatal brain cancer. In nearly every past legal battle for example, the nationally publicized case of Karen Ann Quinlan in the 1970s families fought to have loved ones removed from life support, arguing that they had the right to die with dignity. Case Law Cited In discussing Brianne's treatment, Hershey Medical Center officials said their first responsibility is to the patient, even if what is best for the patient conflicts with the wishes of the patient's family. They note that no statute existed at the time Brianne's ventilator was disconnected requir ing doctors to obtain approval from the court or family. But the case is not that simple, wrote Dauphin County Judge Jeannine Turgeon in a ruling in December that allows the Rideouts to sue the hospital. Hershey's decision to disconnect Brianne's life-support machinery "was made in clear contravention to the overwhelming majority of case law at that time, which stressed the need for judicial intervention in cases where there was a disagreement between parties," Turgeon wrote. In fact, authorities say, even when families agree with doctors' approval of withdrawing life support, hospitals have frequently sought court approval, simply to protect themselves. Dr. Steven E. Lucking, Brianne's physician and the director of Hershey's pediatric intensive care unit, said during a deposition in 1994 for the suit that he did what he judged to be best for Brianne. 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