Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Woman in Vegetative State for Last 14 Years Gives Birth

Woman in Vegetative State for Last 14 Years Gives Birth

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.

Following news of a woman in a vegetative state giving birth, families of patients at Hacienda HealthCare are demanding answers.

Hacienda HealthCare was founded five decades ago.

The moment that something caught the staff's attention was when she began moaning from her bed.

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Regarding the vegetative woman's shock birth, "I think he let things happen and didn't do anything about it".

The clinic's chief executive Bill Timmons has now resigned, with his departure unanimously approved by Hacienda HealthCare's board of directors, a company spokesman said.

"I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Gov. Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible", he said.

Hacienda HealthCare board member Gary Orman said the facility will accept "nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization". But one complaint from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier. That staff member was sacked. It has "now become a bad habit and is a dignity problem", according to the state's report. It's also unclear if staff members at the Hacienda de Los Angeles facility were unaware of the pregnancy until the birth. A police report and 911 calls were also not available Saturday.

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

Now at the health center, more security guards are present and a new protocol requiring male staffers to be accompanied by female staffers if they go into a female patient's room has been put into place.

The facility received a "below average" health inspection rating in 2017, according to the Medicare website. In January 2018, state investigators said the issues "have been corrected", People reported. It cares for people who have a variety of developmental conditions.

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