Nurses caring for a woman in a coma for at least 15 years were frantic when she suddenly gave birth to a baby boy in her nursing home bed, a 911 call released by police has revealed.
They thought the baby was going to die and called emergency services for backup, the call reveals.
‘The baby’s turning blue, the baby’s turning blue,’ a nurse tells dispatchers in Phoenix, Arizona. ‘We need someone now.’
The case, in which a 29-year-old member of the San Carlos Apache native American tribe, gave birth on December 29, has shocked the nation and already led to the resignation of the facility’s head.
On Friday it also emerged that the woman, who weighed just 112 pounds, had entered Hacienda HealthCare when she was three years old after a drowning incident.
Police are now carrying out DNA tests on all male staff as well as others who potentially had access to the woman’s room in a bid to find who is responsible.
Nurses caring for a woman in a coma were frantic when she suddenly gave birth to a baby boy in her nursing home bed, a 911 call released by police revealed. The unnamed woman, aged 29, gave birth to a boy at Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix on December 29. Pictured: Police officers outside of the main entrance on Friday
‘We have a very broad scope,’ police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson told DailyMail.com.
He said if anyone refused to have their DNA sample taken the police would apply for a court order. ‘At this stage I do not know if anyone has refused,’ he said.
The mother, who is described as ‘incapacitated’ and ‘unable to make any decisions or give consent’, has not been identified and police are treating the case as rape.
Family attorney John Micheaels said in a statement: ‘The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare,’
‘The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.’
In the five minute call, the nurse — whose name is redacted in the audio released by police — tells the dispatcher: ‘We had no idea this patient was pregnant.’
When asked if the mother is doing OK, she answers: ‘We are not sure.’
She then turns to a colleague and asks: ‘Were you able to get the baby out? Is the baby breathing? Is the baby breathing?’
She reports back to the dispatcher: ‘The baby is not breathing. The baby is blue.’
The nurse says staff had no idea how far along the mother was in her pregnancy. ‘This was a complete surprise, we were not expecting this.’
She then says that the baby ‘is not responsive.’
‘They are still trying to do compressions and they are suctioning the baby.’ She said they were doing compressions with two fingers in the center of the chest and one finger below the nipple line.
Phoenix Police spokesman Tommy Thompson (pictured) told DailyMail.com if any staff members refused to have their DNA sample taken the police would apply for a court order. ‘At this stage I do not know if anyone has refused’
The nurse then calls for ‘the vitals machine.’
‘I want vitals on mom,’ she tells her colleagues. ‘Mom is doing fine, she’s doing fine,’ the nurse says. ‘We are going to do vitals on her, but so far she looks stable.’
Nearly five minutes into the call the nurse tells the dispatcher with obvious relief in her voice; ‘The baby’s breathing, the baby’s breathing, oh my God,’ and then faint crying from the tot is heard in the background as the call ends.
Phoenix’s CBS affiliate, which originally broke the story, said investigators believe the victim was raped several times in her bed. She is described as being in a vegetative state and completely unresponsive following the near-drowning.
Records show the woman’s last court-ordered medical examination took place on April 16, 2018 — eight months and 13 days before she gave birth.
It is not clear when she went into a vegetative state, but according to medical reports, the woman had brain injury, seizures, recurring pneumonia, feeding and breathing tubes.
Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons resigned this week after more than 30 years at the helm of the not-for-profit organization. His resignation was unanimously accepted by the company’s board.
Hacienda had tried to test the male staff’s DNA but say they had been advised it could breach privacy rules. On Tuesday Phoenix police ordered the tests. Hacienda called the police move ‘a welcome development.’
‘We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers,’ a facility spokesperson said. ‘We were told it would be a violation of federal law in either instance.
‘We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation.’
Investigators believe the victim was raped several times in her bed. She is described as being in a vegetative state and completely unresponsive following a near-drowning
Board member Gary Orman said in a statement 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 added.
The woman’s former caretaker told the local
The caretaker, who was not identified by the station said the victim couldn’t walk or even use sign language and her nursing home room and a day room where she was taken in a wheelchair were the only worlds she knew.
San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler said: ‘On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members’
‘I can’t believe that somebody would bathe her daily for nine months and never know that she wasn’t having a period, that she [was] growing in her midsection, that nurses weren’t keeping track of her weight,’ the caregiver said.
‘Those things are shocking to me.
The former caregiver said hearing the woman had had a baby was ‘like a punch in the gut’ especially as the victim could never know who had assaulted her.
The woman’s family visited every few months, usually in a large group of some 15 people, the caregiver said..
The San Carlos Apache reservation is some 140 miles east of Phoenix. Tribal chairman Terry Rambler said: ‘On behalf of the tribe, I am deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members.
‘When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers.
‘Sadly, one of her caretakers was not to be trusted and took advantage of her. It is my hope that justice will be served.’
The Hacienda facility serves infants, children and young adults who are ‘medically fragile’ or have developmental disabilities, according to its website.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said new safety measures have been implemented following the revelation of the woman’s rape.
They include increased staff presence during any patient interaction, more monitoring of patient care areas and additional security measures involving visitors.
San Carlos Apache officials announced Tuesday night that the woman was an enrolled member of the tribe, whose reservation is in southeastern Arizona about 134 miles east of Phoenix. Members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe are seen in a 2014 Facebook photo
The state’s online complaint database for care facilities shows multiple complaints about Hacienda de Los Angeles going back to 2013.
Most of them involve fire drill and evacuation preparation or Medicaid eligibility.
But one complaint from December 2013 outlines an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate sexual comments about four patients two months earlier.
Nobody relayed the incidents to an administrator. The employee was later fired.
Martin Solomon, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix whose clients are mostly vulnerable adult victims of abuse and neglect, said a lawyer representing this woman should call for all pertinent medical records, a list of current and ex-employees and any past litigation involving Hacienda.
It would be the police who would lead DNA testing to figure out who fathered the baby, Solomon said.
It would be hard for Hacienda to escape any kind of liability in court.
‘There’s a lot of information we do not have. But things like this don’t happen without someone either knowing about it or should have known about it,’ Solomon said.
‘Whether it’s an employee or someone from the outside, the facility has an obligation to protect residents.’
Advocates for the disabled say Arizona needs to find a way to monitor allegations of sexual abuse and sexual violence in group settings.
Doing background checks isn’t enough, said Erica McFadden, executive director of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.
‘I think when you’ve had somebody who’s had multiple allegations from different parties, there has to be some way to track that,’ McFadden said.
‘If it’s the same story from different people, then there’s something wrong.’
The council recently formed a task force to look at how to improve training for health care workers when it comes to identifying and reporting sexual abuse.
‘We don’t have a systematic way to train people what’s a good touch or a bad touch. We also don’t have required training for providers,’ McFadden said.
‘We really need a lot of work in this area.’
Jon Meyers, executive director of The Arc of Arizona, an advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, called the allegations ‘disturbing, to put it mildly.’
‘I wasn’t there. I clearly don’t have firsthand knowledge of what happened,’ Meyers said.
‘But I can’t believe someone receiving that level of constant care wasn’t recognized as being pregnant prior to the time she delivered.