A new report about a patient who became pregnant while reportedly in a persistent vegetative state at a Arizona nursing home has contradicted weeks of previous reporting on the 29-year-old woman’s condition.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the woman gave birth on December 29 at Hacienda HealthCare, where she has been a patient since she was a toddler. For nearly a month, numerous outlets have been reporting that the patient had been in a persistent vegetative state at the time, with most reports attributing her condition to a near-drowning incident when she was a toddler. Earlier this month, People magazine obtained records reportedly showing that the patient was quadriplegic.
But a lawyer who is representing the patient said in an interview this week that much of what has been reported about the patient is not accurate.
“The important thing here is that contrary to what’s been reported, she is a person, albeit with significant intellectual disabilities. She has feelings and is capable of responding to people she is familiar with, especially family,” attorney John Micheaels reportedly told The Arizona Republic, according to AZCentral.com.
The lawyer also said that while the patient cannot speak, she is “alert,” and has some mobility.
“She likes being read to and being with people who are familiar to her,” the attorney said.
AZCentral.com reports that court records show the patient has “flaccid quadriplegia,” a type of paralysis in the limbs, but her lawyer reportedly she does not have total paralysis and can move her head and neck, and has some movement in her limbs.
The report does not reference any mention of a near-drowning incident in the lawyer’s interview.
Court records obtained by AZCentral.com reportedly show that the patient is not alert, and requires a “maximum level of care.”
A spokesperson for Hacienda HealthCare told the news outlet that the nursing facility could not comment on the patient’s condition, due to privacy laws.
Phoenix police have reportedly issued a warrant for DNA samples of male staffers at the facility, and no new patients have been admitted since January 3.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.