Sep 4, 2013 9:06 AM
HOUSTON - An appeals court has lifted a stay that allowed a Houston-area hospital to withhold a former track coach's heart from his widow.
The ruling comes in a nine-year legal fight between Christus St. Catherine hospital in Katy and Linda Carswell, widow of Cypress-Fairbanks track coach Jerry Carswell. The Langham Creek High School coach won a state title in 1997. He died in January 2004 at age 61.
The Houston Chronicle reported Linda Carswell ordered an autopsy, but her attorneys said no toxicology tests were run that could have shown her husband died of painkillers. Carswell learned her husband was buried without his heart, which was stored at Houston's St. Joseph Medical Center. Eventually, a judge awarded her $1.75 million but the hospital got a stay to keep the heart.