Facility’s CEO resigns after woman in vegetative state for decade gives birth

Police served a warrant to get DNA from all male staff at the long-term care facility in Phoenix

  • Jan. 8, 2019 5:18 p.m.

This Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, photo shows Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Police served a search warrant Tuesday to get DNA from all male employees at a long-term care facility in Phoenix where a patient who had been in a vegetative state for years gave birth, triggering reviews by state agencies and putting a spotlight on safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

READ MORE: Woman in vegetative state for decade reportedly gives birth

Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing of employees.

“We will continue to co-operate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” the company said in a statement.

Local news website Azfamily.com first reported the woman, who had been in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning, delivered a baby on Dec. 29. Her identity has not been reported, and it’s not known if she has a family or a guardian. It’s also unclear if staff members at the Hacienda de Los Angeles facility were aware of the pregnancy until the birth.

In a statement, board member Gary Orman said the facility “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation.”

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees,” Orman said.

Hacienda CEO Bill Timmons stepped down Monday, spokesman David Leibowitz said. The decision was unanimously accepted by the provider’s board of directors.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s office has called the situation “deeply troubling.”

Phoenix police so far have declined comment.

Terry Tang, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Supportive housing first step to healing: BC Housing CEO

Shayne Ramsay explains changes to Rutland’s McCurdy development

West Kelowna motorcycle crash causes two impaired driving investigations

The driver’s injuries, although serious, are not believed to be life-threatening in nature

Kelowna baby snatcher pleads guilty

Harold Giffen Clarkson Nyren is sentenced to two years probation

Big Wreck announces two Okanagan shows

The American-Canadian band will be playing in Vernon and Kelowna on Oct. 29 and Nov. 3

Kelowna fastpitch player en route to national championships

15 year-old Ryley Binne joins her White Rock team every weekend for tournaments

Okanagan-based pop star Andrew Allen is back with a new band

Singer-songwriter Andrew Allen is bringing his new band home for a concert this Friday

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Okanagan man grows tomato with an… unusual shape

The man could only conclude that it was a decidedly “male” tomato.

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

$250,000 worth of property stolen from Okanagan storage

Police are investigating after a possible theft on the weekend

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Vehicle collides into Okanagan home and drives away

Fencing, landscaping suffer significant damage and minor injury to house on Vernon’s Okanagan Avenue

Most Read