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

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