Friday, 18 January, 2019

DNA sought of males at center where comatose woman had baby

The revelation that a Phoenix woman in a vegetative state recently gave birth has prompted Hacienda Health Care CEO Bill Timmons to resign putting a spotlight on the safety of long-term care settings for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated Police seek staff DNA over vegetative woman's baby
Melinda Barton | 10 January, 2019, 18:19

Investigators launched their case after learning a 29-year-old woman gave birth to a son on December 29, despite having been in a vegetative state for 14 years following a near-drowning accident.

The top cop said the victim was "helpless" and said her family are outraged at the "neglect".

"She was not in a position to give consent to any of this".

'Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her.

He confirmed the baby was in distress following the birth, but staff members of the facility were there when the baby was born and it was a natural birth.

Let's hope the authorities catch the perpetrator so that justice can be served.

He didn't release the conditions of the woman and child.

An attorney representing the woman's family told KPNX in a statement Tuesday that the family was not emotionally prepared to make a statement but that they "would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for".

The investigation began on or about January 4th as reported by Phoenix Fox 10, which reported the woman had been sexually assaulted by someone who allegedly cared for her at the facility, and that the staff was not even aware the woman was pregnant until she began moaning and the woman began giving birth.

The woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade gave birth to a baby boy
The woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade gave birth to a baby boy

"We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation", the company said.

"This is the highest priority for the Phoenix Police Department", said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a spokesperson with the Phoenix Police Department.

Phoenix police served search warrants to obtain DNA from all male staffers at the facility, Hacienda HealthCare told HuffPost in a Tuesday statement.

Phoenix police have not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment on the case, and so far have declined to publicly discuss the investigation.

"In a statement, board member Gary Orman said: "[We] will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation". The group's CEO, Bill Timmons, resigned on Mondayin the wake of reports on the case.

Founded as Hacienda de Los Angeles in 1967, Hacienda HealthCare describes itself on its website as "the leading provider of specialized medical care and social services for Arizona's infants, children and young adults who are medically fragile or chronically ill, including those with developmental disabilities".

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's office has called the case "deeply troubling".

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about the Hacienda center going back to 2013. That employee was later fired. They also have not indicated whether they are investigating people outside of the employees at the facility.

"I wasn't there. I clearly don't have firsthand knowledge of what happened", Meyers said.