Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

CEO of disgraced Arizona care facility resigns after vegetative patient gives birth

CEO of disgraced Arizona care facility resigns after vegetative patient gives birth

The chief executive of the corporation in charge of an Arizona nursing home where a woman in a vegetative state gave birth has resigned. The source said that staff only found out she was pregnant on the day she gave birth.

Calls by PEOPLE to Phoenix police about the investigation have not been returned. Awake but immobile, and apparently unaware, her universe consisted mostly of a room at a Phoenix Hacienda HealthCare facility where she received round-the-clock care.

The woman, who has remained nameless, was a victim of a near-drowning accident "at least a decade ago".

Karina Cesena told a Phoenix news outlet, "I do not [know if my daughter was victimised], but I do ask her, and she can answer yes or no".

"This matter is now under investigation by the Phoenix Police Department", Sergeant Tommy Thompson told Reuters when asked about the media reports.

On Dec. 29, with help from one of the facility's nurses, the patient gave birth to a healthy baby boy, KPHO reported.

"As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter", David Leibowitz, spokesman for Hacienda HealthCare, said in a statement to the Washington Post.

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It is "already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible".

Police have yet to disclose any information about suspects at the time.

The news has been described as "deeply troubling" by a representative for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Hacienda was given a year to fix the "defects" in staff training and staff treatment of patients or be removed from the Medicare roster.

On its website, Hacienda HealthCare says it provides care for "medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities".

She demands 24-hour care, indicating that numerous facility's staff would have access to her room, as she is incapable of any communication or voluntary movement.

One staff member was sacked for making repeated inappropriate sexual comments to patients.

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