Medicine

Woman in Vegetative State for Last 14 Years Gives Birth

Woman in Vegetative State for Last 14 Years Gives Birth

"Bill Timmons, longtime Chief Executive Officer of Hacienda HealthCare, has terminated his employment from the company effective immediately", a Tuesday statement from the facility to HuffPost reads.

Martin Solomon, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix whose clients are mostly vulnerable adult victims of abuse and neglect, said a lawyer representing this woman should call for all pertinent medical records, a list of current and ex-employees and any past litigation involving Hacienda.

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

The incident reportedly occurred at a Phoenix nursing facility, Hacienda HealthCare in the American state of Arizona, according to the RT News.

The 29-year-old woman had been a patient at the Phoenix facility for more than a decade after nearly drowning, according to azfamily.com, two Meredith Corp. -owned TV stations that broke the story; police declined to provided NPR with details about their investigation. It's also unclear if staff members at the Hacienda de Los Angeles facility were unaware of the pregnancy until the birth.

The patient has been in a vegetative state for 14 years, since a near-drowning incident, KPHO noted.

She said no one reported that incident exclusively out of fear, and she believes there's been other abuse throughout the years. "Trust has definitely been broken", Cesena said of the Hacienda facility. No one knew she was pregnant and healthcare staff were initially unsure why she was moaning, the reports said.

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The facility, which has room for over 50 patients, is now under investigation by police and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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

The New York Times reports that fresh allegations of abuse have emerged, including inadequate privacy for patients while they were naked or being showered.

Hacienda also announced that all male employees would have to have a female employee accompany them when visiting a female patient's room.

A Hacienda spokesperson said the facility was assisting with law enforcement and regulatory agencies on the "unprecedented matter" as well as reviewing its own "processes, protocols, and people".

The facility received a "below average" health inspection rating in 2017, according to the Medicare website.

He declined to say whether its staff were being asked to undergo DNA testing to identify a possible suspect, or whether the facility was taking any preventative measures to protect patients against a similar situation.