O'Bara lifts the tube that feeds her daughter, uncaps it and pours in her homemade formula. She does this every six hours, nourishing Edwarda with 1,800 calories a day.
The formula costs O'Bara $219.80 a month. Other supplies -- pads for the bed, lotion to keep Edwarda's skin smooth, tissues and alcohol swabs and catheter bags -- run more than $400 a month.
Medicaid would pay for Edwarda's care if she were in a nursing home or a hospice -- a bill that could easily top $60,000 a year. But because she stays at home, government programs cover only the costs of her medications and one hour a day of nursing care, O'Bara says.
To keep Edwarda comfortable, her mother has taken out multiple mortgages on her house. She juggles 21 credit cards. She cheerfully admits she's $300,000 in debt, but she refuses to worry.
O'Bara doesn't look back at what she missed in life by devoting all her days and all her nights to Edwarda. She refuses to fret about who will take over Edwarda's care in the years ahead. Her daughter is at home, where she belongs, and that's all that matters.
O'Bara wraps Edwarda's fingers around her own.
"You're a funny little kid, aren't you?" she murmurs. "You're a funny little kid."
A picture of Terri Schiavo fills the TV in Edwarda's room.
The sound is muted, so O'Bara squints to read the news flash: The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to step in. Schiavo's parents are nearly out of appeals in their fight to have their daughter's feeding tube reinstated. O'Bara strokes Edwarda's arm.
She has sympathy for both sides: For Schiavo's husband, who says Terri would have wanted the feeding tube removed, and for her parents, who say Terri would want to live.
There is no one correct course, O'Bara says. It's a private decision -- one a family must make on its own, with love.
Bradley feels the same. Watching politicians and protesters presume to know what's best for Terri angers her. She would not have wanted a stranger to make the choice for Randy.
Bradley talks to her son often now. "None of us know what awaits us when we die, but I sense that he's aware I'm talking to him," she says. "He's healed. He's free."
Sitting by Edwarda's bed, surrounded by angels, O'Bara also talks to her child. "I see her," she says, "exactly the same as she always was."
Simon is a former Times staff writer.