LAST week, an astonishing and unbelievable news was in circulation widely in print, electronic and social media. According to media reports, an American woman in a coma for more than 14 years gave birth at a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, amid allegations that the patient was sexually assaulted.
Police in Phoenix have launched an investigation into the possible sex abuse, reports said.The woman gave birth to a baby boy on December 29 at the Hacienda HealthCare facility, a local CBS News affiliate, Arizona’s Family, reported. A near-drowning incident left her in a vegetative state in 2004.
A source familiar with the situation told Arizona’s Family that none of the hospital staff knew she was pregnant.“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” the whistleblower, who requested anonymity, told the TV channel. “From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”
The hospital said in a statement that it would also launch an “internal review” of the incident.“As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter,” spokeswoman Nancy Salmon told the CBS News affiliate.
“We are already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our team, our company’s leaders and the communities we serve.”
The patient, who has been unresponsive since a near-drowning incident more than a decade ago, delivered a healthy baby boy on December 29, 2018 at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix, USA. Staffers didn’t know the woman was pregnant until she went into labor, an unnamed source told KTVK, a local CBS News affiliate.
“None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth,” the source said. “From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”
The facility, which specialises in treating chronically ill and developmentally disabled people, has apparently changed protocols and will no longer allow male staffers to enter a female patient’s room unaccompanied. Refinery29 reached out to Hacienda HealthCare for comment.
Multiple agencies, including the Phoenix police department and the Arizona Department of Health Services, are now investigating the woman’s sexual assault. “During this time, the agency has required heightened safety measures be implemented at the facility, including increased staff presence during patient interactions; increased monitoring of the patient care areas; and increased security measures with respect to visitors at the facility,” Arizona Department of Health Services spokesperson Melissa Blasius-Nuanez said Friday.
Authorities have forbidden male staff to enter the rooms of female patients at the facility as the investigation is underway. The Arizona Department of Health Services has promised to cooperate with authorities for the investigation.