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

Smithers Christmas bird count results

Over 5,000 birds observed in annual count, including a couple local rarities.

Giesbrecht pleads not guilty in murder trial

Giesbrecht, 67, faces 1st-degree murder of Raymond Bishop, found May 2017 south of Francois Lake.

Bulkley Valley SD 54 superintendent leaving

Chris van der Mark has been superintendent with SD54 for eight years, and has hands full in Cariboo.

Council wants culture centre referendum

Library/gallery gets extra grant scrutiny for passing $10-million threshold.

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read