DNA samples taken after woman in coma for 10 years gives birth


Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Wednesday that an infant had "coded", referring to emergency calls when "someone is in distress, having trouble breathing, or unconscious".

Though the woman has not been named, authorities said she is Native American and 29 years old.

A look at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix.

The woman was an enrolled tribal member of the San Carlos Apache tribe of southeastern Arizona, according to officials.

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

"On behalf of the Tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our member", Chairman of the Tribe Terry Rambler said in a press release on January 8.

Today, Phoenix Police investigators served a search warrant to obtain DNA from male Hacienda HealthCare staffers.

"As a company, we welcome this development in the ongoing police investigation", Hacienda HealthCare said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post.

The revelation that a Phoenix woman in a vegetative state recently gave birth has prompted Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons to resign, putting a spotlight on the safety of long-term care settings for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

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"We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers", the statement said. It appears no staff knew about the pregnancy until the birth, he said, adding that anyone who knew but failed to report it could face charges.

"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare", attorney John Micheaels said in a statement Tuesday.

The lawyer for the family of a 29-year-old Native American woman who has been in "a completely vulnerable state" after almost drowning over a decade ago said Tuesday that "the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for", Arizona Family reported.

The state's online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about the Hacienda center going back to 2013.

But one complaint from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier.

The incidents were not relayed to an administrator and the employee was later fired.

Sources have claimed staff only became aware the woman was pregnant when she started "moaning" from her hospital bed. They also have not indicated whether they are investigating people outside of the employees at the facility.

Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, called the situation "disturbing, to put it mildly". "But I can't believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn't recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered".