The CEO of the Phoenix-based Hacienda HealthCare nursing facility resigned on Monday after one of the facility’s patients who has been in a vegetative state for over a decade gave birth to a child.
“Bill Timmons, longtime Chief Executive Officer of Hacienda HealthCare, has terminated his employment from the company effective immediately,” a Tuesday statement from the facility to HuffPost reads. “Timmons’ resignation was accepted unanimously by the Hacienda Board of Directors.”
The unidentified patient, a 29-year-old Native American woman, has been in a vegetative state for 14 years after a near-drowning incident. The woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Dec. 29, local news outlet KPHO-TV reported last week. According to the local station’s unidentified source, the facility staff had no idea the patient was pregnant until she began moaning as she went into labor.
KPHO-TV confirmed on Monday that the woman had been raped several times. The Phoenix Police Department did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Gary Orman, the executive vice president of the facility’s board, said in a statement to HuffPost that Hacienda HealthCare “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization.”
Hacienda HealthCare told HuffPost in an additional statement Tuesday evening that Phoenix police have served search warrants to obtain DNA from all male staffers at the facility.
“We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” the statement added.
A former caregiver of the victim whose identity was kept private expressed shock to ABC 15 that the facility’s staff did not realize the patient was pregnant.
“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 person said. “Those things are shocking to me.”
A mother of another patient at the facility posted a sign to her daughter’s door saying that no men, including staffers, are allowed in until the police find the rapist.
“We don’t know who this person is yet. We don’t know if it’s an employee, a father, a family member — we just don’t know,” the mother, Karina Cesena, told ABC 15.
A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called the recent report “deeply troubling” in a statement to The Washington Post.
Orman reiterated in his statement that the facility is working with authorities to find the perpetrator.
“I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible,” Orman said. “And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees.”
This article has been updated to include an additional statement from Hacienda HealthCare.