Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Comatose woman hospitalized after birth with baby

Comatose woman hospitalized after birth with baby

Phoenix police investigators are testing DNA samples from men who work at a Phoenix nursing facility in response to a vegetative patient giving birth there last week, according to KPHO.

Sgt Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix police department said potential suspects were not limited to Hacienda employees, but would not confirm if DNA evidence would be obtained from visitors to the centre.

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

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

Her family, who are members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in south-eastern Arizona, said in a statement through their lawyer that they will care for the baby boy.

The statement said the company welcomed the move to investigate what it called "this deeply disturbing but unprecedented situation".

In recent days police have addressed the media to give more information about the sexual assault investigation now underway, after they were alerted to the birth.

Hacienda HealthCare is privately owned and has more than 40 Phoenix-based health care programs that serve 2,500 people a year, according to its website.

According to the Huffington Post, the unidentified woman had been in a coma for 14 years after a near-drowning accident and is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Thompson said off-duty officers have been providing extra security "to protect anybody who's there".

The incident occurred at a clinic run by Hacienda HealthCare, near Phoenix.

The birth and what can only be called rape is now the subject of a police investigation and has resulted in the resignation of the facility's CEO, Bill Timmons.

Michealels also revealed the patient's relatives are "outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare", adding, "The family is well aware of the intense news and public interest in their daughter's case, but at this time is not emotionally ready to make a public statement". It appears no staff knew about the pregnancy until the birth, he said, adding that anyone who knew but failed to report it could face charges.

The facility specializes in providing around-the-clock care for infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities or who are "medically fragile".

Hacienda employees apparently did not know the woman was pregnant before she went into labor, and police were first alerted when the baby was born, Thomson said.

Chairman Terry Rambler said, "On behalf of the Tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members".

"When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers", he said Tuesday.

'Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. They also say health care workers need better training on identifying and reporting sexual abuse.

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