Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

No signs of pregnancy in comatose woman in April exam

No signs of pregnancy in comatose woman in April exam

The tribe has issued a statement shortly after the Native woman - who had been in a vegetative state for over ten years after a drowning accident - gave birth to a child as a result of being sexually assaulted at the facility.

Phoenix police learned of the pregnancy situation when they received a call on December 29 about a newborn in distress at the Hacienda HealthCare facility.

The woman and the baby boy have been recovering at a hospital.

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.

"As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation", Leibowitz said in an email, adding that the company was cooperating and found the situation "deeply disturbing".

The company also said it had sought legal advice over the possibility of mandatory DNA testing for staff, but was advised it would violate federal law.

She has been in the care of Hacienda HealthCare, a Phoenix-based nursing facility.

San Carlos Apache Tribe officials say the 29-year-old woman is a tribal member and has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade.

It is not yet known exactly where the baby is being raised or who he is being raised by.

The woman went into labor a few days before New Year's, perplexing her caretakers.

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

The facility in Phoenix, Arizona
The facility in Phoenix, Arizona

Officers launched a sex crime investigation when it was determined the mother was in a vegetative state, police spokesman Tommy Thompson said.

Micheaels revealed the woman'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".

Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons announced his resignation Monday, and board member Gary Orman said the facility "will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation".

The centre said a warrant was served by police on Tuesday, as authorities try to find out how the woman became pregnant.

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

"One of our patients just had a baby, and we had no idea she was pregnant", the nurse said.

"As far as I know it was a natural birth", he said.

Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, called the allegations "disturbing, to put it mildly".

The revelation that an incapacitated woman was sexually assaulted inside a care facility has horrified advocates for people with disabilities and the community at large.

The woman's mother, who is now her legal guardian, submitted an annual report as required by state law that included the results of a physical that was conducted on April 16 at the facility.

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