Comatose woman may not have shown signs of pregnancy

Comatose woman may not have shown signs of pregnancy

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

Phoenix police are gathering DNA samples from the facility's male staffers as part of the investigation.

There are continuing developments in the story of 29-year-old comatose woman who gave birth recently to a baby boy.

Police said Wednesday they were initially called to Hacienda Healthcare around 3:45 p.m. on December 29 in response to an "infant code" call, or an infant in distress.

As for the potential of pregnancy: Even in a vegetative state, a woman's ovaries "can still respond to the fluctuations in hormones that trigger ovulation", Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Winnie Palmer Hospital For Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida, tells Health.

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.

Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing.

Today, the San Carlos Apache Tribe (the "Tribe") learned of the tragic circumstances surrounding [redacted], an enrolled member of the Tribe. When they arrived, they found a baby who had been born to a woman who was "unable to move and unable to communicate".

The patient, who has been identified as a 29-year-old Native American woman, has been under the care of the facility since she was between the ages of two or three according to the documents.

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"Hacienda stands committed to doing everything in our power to bring this police investigation to a quick conclusion", the company statement said.

Micheaels revealed the woman's relatives are "outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare", adding, "The family is well aware of the intense news and public interest in their daughter's case, but at this time is not emotionally ready to make a public statement".

The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are "medically fragile" or have developmental disabilities, its website says.

Speaking on behalf of the tribe, its chairman, Terry Rambler, said he was "deeply shocked and horrified".

"One of our patients just had a baby, and we had no idea she was pregnant", the nurse said.

Hacienda HealthCare's longtime CEO, Bill Timmons, resigned on Monday in the wake of the crime.

As far as authorities know, the birth was natural and the baby has been taken into care by the family of the woman.

PEOPLE reports they date back to 2009 from an order that transferred guardianship of the woman from her biological father to her mother.

Medical exam results filed with the court last spring said her condition had not changed and described both her rehabilitation prognosis and chance of discharge as "poor".

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