Image: Michael Schiavo
Chris O'Meara  /  AP file
Michael Schiavo is shown in a file photo during a January 2002 interview.
updated 1/22/2006 2:08:43 PM ET 2006-01-22T19:08:43

A man whose brain-damaged wife was at the center of a contentious end-of-life battle that played out on a worldwide media stage has remarried, family members said.

Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze were married Saturday in a private church ceremony, said John Centonze, the brother of the bride.

Schiavo’s former wife, Terri Schiavo, died March 31, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed. Terri Schiavo suffered irreversible brain damage after collapsing at age 26 in 1990.

Her parents and siblings fought to keep her alive for years, arguing that she had some level of consciousness. Gov. Jeb Bush, the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, the White House, and even the Vatican became involved in the case.

An autopsy supported Michael Schiavo’s contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state with no consciousness and no hope of recovery.

Because of the attention attracted by the Schiavo saga, family members kept the location of the ceremony secret and reporters were not allowed inside the church in Safety Harbor, about 15 miles northwest of Tampa.

“It was very emotional,” John Centonze said after the noon ceremony. “It’s been a long time coming. A lot of things happened in between.”

The bride and groom did not make any public comment. They had applied Friday for a marriage license.

The couple met in a dentist’s office and began a relationship after Terri Schiavo was already in a nursing home. Michael Schiavo has called Centonze his fiancee for more than five years, relatives said. They have two young children.

“Except for the fact that the world knows their name, it was like any wedding you’ve ever been to,” said Michael Hirsh, who attended, and who is helping Michael Schiavo write a book.

Hirsh estimated about 80 people attended.

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