Monday, 18 March, 2019

Police investigating after woman in 10-year coma gives birth

Woman in vegetative state gives birth at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix ‘Deeply disturbing incident’: Phoenix police investigate after woman in coma for decade gives birth
Samantha Long | 11 January, 2019, 03:44

Phoenix police are pursuing DNA samples from every male employee at a private care facility where a patient in a vegetative state recently gave birth.

He refused to say whether the hospital would subject its male staff members to DNA tests to help identify a suspect.

Officials say they are committed to cooperating with the police to "uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation".

On Monday, longtime CEO Bill Timmons resigned from Hacienda after reports of the December birth surfaced last week.

The woman has not been named but she's been described as a 29-year-old Native American woman who has been in a vegetative state for 14 years after almost drowning.

An investigation is underway by Phoenix Police, as controversy mounts over the incident.

[Redacted], 29 years old, is a patient at the Hacienda Del Sol in Phoenix, and has been in a persistent vegetative state and coma for over a decade.

Hacienda almost lost its Medicare funding in December 2013 after Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) found at least one staff member was abusive to multiple patients while several staff members were deficient in reporting patient allegations of abuse by staff.

"While federal and state privacy laws prohibit us from publicly discussing a patient's health or case, Hacienda has and will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement and all the relevant regulatory agencies regarding this matter".

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"In a statement, board member Gary Orman said: "[We] will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, according to its website.

The Arizona Department of health services has also released a statement, saying that they are working with the Phoenix Police. But one from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients.

"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare", the family's attorney, John Micheaels said.

The former caregiver, who asked to remain anonymous, said the patient couldn't walk or communicate in any way.

"Whether it's an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents".

Previously, healthcare sources said: "From what I've been told, she was moaning. And they didn't know what was wrong with her", they added".

"Our nation is very much in denial about how widespread the problem of sexual abuse is - especially when you have a population that does not fit the mainstream criteria as a sexual being", Kristen Houser, spokesperson for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told Vox. "I haven't been able to sleep good at night because of what occurred here", another mother, Angela Gomez said. "We really need a lot of work in this area".

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