Comatose woman gets pregnant and no one notices? How does that happen?
The 5-minute, 11-second 911 call details the minutes after a woman at Hacienda HealthCare gave birth. Staff can be heard trying to resuscitate the baby. Arizona Republic
Opinion: A woman, incapacitated for a decade, gets pregnant and none of her caregivers notice? Hacienda Healthcare has some explaining to do.
There is one piece of good news in the stunner of a story of a woman who gave birth last month despite spending most of her life in a coma at a Phoenix long-term care facility.
A healthy baby boy is now in the arms of his family, members of the San Carlos Apache tribe.
"The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare … ," the family's attorney, John Micheaels, said in a statement this week. "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for."
That, however, is where the good news ends and a raft of questions begin.
Chief among them: who raped a defenseless woman — one who has been unresponsive since a near drowning when she was 3 years old?
The details are appalling
Phoenix police are obtaining DNA samples from all male employees at Hacienda de los Angeles. Perhaps that will turn up the rapist. If it wasn’t one of them, then I’m guessing police will turn to the patient’s visitor log.
Assuming, that is, Hacienda Healthcare keeps track of visitors.
Or patients, for that matter.
AzFamily broke the shocking story of the surprise Dec. 29 birth at Hacienda de los Angeles, quoting an unnamed source who said that nobody on the staff was even aware the woman was pregnant until she was “pretty much giving birth.”
It took her "pretty much giving birth" for her caregivers to notice there was a problem?
“From what I’ve been told she was moaning,” the source told KTVK reporter Briana Whitney. “And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”
The nurse who called 911 said the birth came as a "complete surprise" to the staff.
"One of the patients had a baby and we had no idea she was pregnant," she told the 911 operator. "We were not prepared for that."
That's beyond appalling.
How is this 'industry leading' care?
Here’s a 29-year-old woman who could do nothing for herself, someone who relied on professional caregivers for her every need … and according to the person who blew the whistle on this story, no one even knew she was pregnant?
This, at a privately owned long-term care facility that touts “our position as an industry leader in caring for the intellectually and developmentally disabled.”
If the "industry leader" employs caregivers who don't even know that one of their patients is pregnant until the moment when she is giving birth, one wonders how patients at the rest of Arizona's long-term care facilities are faring.
And where, by the way, were the doctors in this intermediate-care facility?
But for the baby making an appearance, it seems no one would have been the wiser that this utterly, utterly defenseless woman was under attack — and likely repeated attack, unless you assume she got pregnant after the first assault.
Hacienda Healthcare has ousted its longtime CEO Bill Timmons. That should be just the start of changes in what sounds like a house of horrors.
At least, for one young woman.
How many others are out there?
Sgt. Tommy Thompson says it's important to seek justice for an incapacitated woman who gave birth after a sexual assault inside a nursing facility. The Republic | azcentral.com
Here are three questions that the state, the county, Hacienda Healthcare and every other business in the business of providing care to the most vulnerable among us must confront and explain to the rest of us:
How is it that no one noticed that this woman was being victimized?
How is it that a patient, helpless to do anything for herself, could go for nine months without so much as a single caregiver or medical professional realizing she was pregnant?
And finally – perhaps most importantly – how many other victims are out there at Hacienda or elsewhere, unable to defend themselves or even call for help when help is so desperately needed?
Reach Roberts at email@example.com.
MORE FROM ROBERTS:
- Officer Townsend's preventable death will change nothing
- Team Ducey curiously silent on Jon Kyl's ASU pay
- 'Senator Madonna' is why the GOP can't attract women