Families furious after woman in vegetative state gives birth at nursing facility

Faith Castro
January 12, 2019

Azfamily.com, a news website for television stations KPHO and KTVK, first broke the news Thursday that a woman gave birth on December 29 at the Hacienda HealthCare facility, where staff was unaware that she was pregnant.

Reports state that the staff did not know the woman was pregnant until she was giving birth, but sources tell ABC15 this may not be true.

Phoenix police say the matter is under investigation.

According to the local station's unidentified source, the facility staff had no idea the patient was pregnant until she began moaning as she went into labor.

"As a healthcare provider, we can not comment on any patient due to federal and state privacy laws".

Following the azfamily.com report, Hacienda Health Care and state officials issued brief statements about the situation, expressing concern and describing reviews being conducted and steps being taken.

"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.

Bill Timmons, the company CEO who had been named president on January 1, tendered his immediate resignation this week, spokesman David Leibowitz said in a statement.

The caregiver said the woman was completely unable to communicate and was only visited by family members every few months.

This sign is hung on Jazzmyne Deann Morris's room door at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Pheoniz, Ariz., where a patient in a vegetative state gave birth on December 29, 2017.

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The Phoenix Police Department declined a request to comment.

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

Two people claiming to be former employees of Hacienda Healthcare have spoken out to detail what the nursing home and its parent company are like after a patient's surprise pregnancy and birth sparked a sexual assault investigation.

Now, male staff who need to enter female rooms must be accompanied by a female employee.

Orman added that the facility will be cooperating with police and investigators in every way possible.

Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing of employees.

A woman whose 22-year-old daughter is a patient at the facility said she refuses to leave her side until the investigation is conclusive.

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

In the wake of the reports, the Arizona Department of Health Services said new safety measures have been implemented.

The source also said that Hacienda does not have cameras inside the hallways or rooms of the facility: the rape or sexual assault that happened was not recorded.

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