Comatose woman may not have shown signs of pregnancy

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"One of our patients just had a baby and we had no idea she was pregnant", a woman who identified herself as a nurse said in the call.

Doctors in fetal medicine say it's possible there might not be extreme outward signs of pregnancy if the mother is in a vegetative state.

'We have no idea, this is a complete surprise, ' the nurse responded, without explaining that the woman is in a vegetative state.

The revelation that a Phoenix woman in a vegetative state recently gave birth has prompted Hacienda HealthCare CEO Bill Timmons to resign, putting a spotlight on the safety of long-term care settings for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

CNN affiliate KPHO/KTVK had earlier reported she had been at the facility for at least a decade following a near-drowning incident, the Phoenix-based station quoted a source as saying.

The mother could actually lose weight in other places like her face or arms if a fetus is consuming nutrients, Huls added.

"We're not going to point out who we've obtained DNA from or who we intend to get DNA from", he said.

A doctor examined the woman on April 16 and found "no change" in her health, writing that the exam was external only, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents. "There may be changes to her body that are going to go undetected in a chronic care condition or at a facility like this". Her mother submitted the results of the physical as part of an annual report that state law requires of legal guardians.


Detectives have asked men at the Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix to give buccal swabs, Thompson said.

"This matter is now under investigation by the Phoenix Police Department", Sergeant Tommy Thompson told Reuters when asked about the media reports.

The woman and the baby boy have been recovering at a hospital.

Her family, who are members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in south-eastern Arizona, said in a statement through their attorney that they will care for the infant boy and have asked for privacy.

Phoenix police, meanwhile, have not ruled out any suspects in the sexual assault.

Victim advocate Tasha Menaker, chief strategy officer of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, said it would be appropriate for police to run DNA tests on male employees at the facility. A source told AZ Family that staff "didn't know what was wrong with her".

Hacienda HealthCare describes itself as Arizona's leading provider of specialized health care services for medically fragile and chronically ill infants, children, teens, and young adults as well as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Detectives also served a search warrant Tuesday to gather records relevant to the ongoing investigation, he said.

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