Arizona police are desperately searching for an 11-year-old leukemia patient who was taken from a Phoenix hospital by her mother a day before she was scheduled to be discharged.
According to AZ Central, authorities are concerned about the child's welfare as they fear that a catheter in her heart could soon become infected and endanger her life.
“We have been informed by medical personnel if the catheter is not medically removed the victim’s heart could potentially become infected resulting in the child’s death,” police spokesman Steve Martos told the news website.
According to ABC News, the girl, known as Emily, recently had her right arm amputated due to an infection. Surveillance video shows Emily and her mother, identified by police as Norma, walking out of Phoenix Children’s Hospital at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
KPHO reports that Emily's mother removed the girl's IV from the catheter and changed her clothes before taking her out of the hospital.
“We don’t know why they left,” said Martos, according to AZ Central. “Our primary concern is for the safety of the girl.”
According to ABC News, the search for Emily and her parents has been a difficult one as the family, who are from Mexico, "have no locally listed records in Arizona." Detectives are reportedly searching both locally and out of state.
“In this particular case, we have again an 11-year-old girl who can’t really decide for herself,” said Martos. “Her parents are now removing her from the hospital and putting her in danger by not providing that last bit of medical attention that she needs.”
Emily was due to be released from the hospital on Thursday.