HOUSTON -- Every wall in Eliza Robertson's living room is crowded with photographs of her family, from the framed picture of her parents hanging next to the front door to the pictures of grandchildren tacked above her couch.
All this is my family, Robertson said. And most of 'em is my children and my grandchildren.
Her family stuck by the 89 year-old matriarch through triple bypass surgery that could easily have killed her. Today, she gives credit to the Lord and her doctor.
He was the one that saved my life, because if he hadn't done what he done, I probably wouldn't be around now, Robertson said.
Now the doctor she credits with saving her life is behind bars in California and he's lost his license to practice medicine in Texas. He's also become famous or infamous, depending on your viewpoint, as the man blamed for the death of Michael Jackson.
Conrad Murray, the former physician from Acres Homes, was convicted in 2011 by a California jury that held him responsible for Jackson's death. Now, due partly to an early release program alleviating prison overcrowding, he's scheduled for release at the end of this month. And his lawyer says he hopes to regain his Texas medical license so that he can resume treating his patients here.
I think Dr. Murray understands that his patients need him, said Chris Peckham, the lawyer working to restore Murray's license. If there were not a desire to have him come back and to help his patients, then I don't think he would be seeking his license. But he's a driven man, he's a caring man, he's a good doctor. And his patients need him.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after Jackson died of a deadly overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative commonly used in surgical procedures. Jackson reportedly used the drug routinely as a sleep aid.
Murray is scheduled for release October 28. Texas regulators revoked his medical license on August 30.
We are working right now on an administrative appeal, Peckham said. And if that is not successful, we'll push it into the courts.
The appeal is admittedly a longshot. Even his lawyer concedes the state is unlikely to restore Murray's license. Still, he says Murray will probably end up practicing medicine somewhere, possibly in another country.
I think he's going to take a few weeks to be with his family, to relax and to move forward and see what he can do with the rest of his life and career, Peckham said.
Murray recently said his imprisonment has been one of my most horrendous experiences. In a telephone interview broadcast on NBC's Today show, he claimed he tried to rid Jackson of his dependence on propofol, claiming I met Michael Jackson with his own stash of medication.
Many of Murray's patients staunchly defended him during his trial and still stand by him years after his conviction, pointing out that he practiced medicine in a small clinic in a low-income neighborhood with few nearby doctors. Now some of them hope they can once again become his patients.
I thank God that I still have my mother around because of Dr. Murray, said Lloyd Giles, Robertson's son.