Earlier this month, a nursing home resident who had been in a vegetative state for eleven years gave birth inside Hacienda HealthCare, a nursing home in Phoenix, Arizona. Caregivers at the nursing home have told investigators they were shocked and had no idea the resident was pregnant. A frantic 911 call on December 29, 2018 by a nurse at the facility reported that a 29-year-old woman had given birth inside the facility. The nursing home staff tasked with providing care for the woman said they were unaware that she was pregnant until she started to moan right before giving birth on Dec. 29. When police arrived, they found a baby that had been born to a woman who was “unable to move and unable to communicate.” The nursing home specializes in the care of people with intellectual disabilities. Court records show that the woman had been a resident of Hacienda HealthCare since 1992.
Phoenix police have already executed a search warrant seeking DNA samples from male staff members at the Hacienda HealthCare center. The Arizona Department of Health Services and the state’s Department of Economic Security are also working with police in the investigation. Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department stated that the patient “…. was not in a position to give consent to any of this. This was a helpless victim who was sexually assaulted.”
Shortly after the assault, Hacienda HealthCare announced that it had hired former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley to additionally conduct an “exhaustive” internal review. “Mr. Romley will have unfettered access to every facet of Hacienda’s business — including all the records related to this matter,” said a statement from Hacienda. “We will do everything we can to aid this review and, once it is complete, to make sure this unprecedented situation never, ever happens again.”