The woman delivered a baby boy at the health care facility in Phoenix, Arizona last month – despite having been in a “vegetative state” for more than a decade
The family of a woman in a coma for 14 years who recently gave birth have broken their silence, saying they are “outraged”.
The woman, who has been in a “vegetative state” for more than a decade, delivered a baby boy last month, according to reports
In a message through their lawyer this week, her “traumatised” loved ones said the youngster had been “born into a loving family”.
They also said he would be “well cared for”.
Their comments came as detectives served a search warrant to obtain DNA from male employees at a US health care facility.
Authorities in Arizona have launched a sex abuse probe to try to establish how the woman became pregnant and who fathered the child.
A patient at a Hacienda HealthCare centre in Phoenix, she is believed to have given birth to the boy on December 29, AZ Family reported.
A source earlier told the news site that “none of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth”.
The source added: “From what I’ve been told she was moaning.
“And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”
In a statement this week, John Micheaels, who represents the woman’s family, said: “The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda HealthCare.”
He added: “The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”
CNN reports that the woman is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.
The tribe’s chairman, Terry Rambler, told the news station: “When you have a loved one committed to palliative care, when they are most vulnerable and dependent upon others, you trust their caretakers.”
It is alleged that access to the new mum’s room has been restricted following the birth, despite her needing round-the-clock care. Other “heightened safety measures” are also thought to be in place.
Meanwhile, male staff members at the facility have been asked to give DNA samples as part of the police investigation into the incident.
Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing.
Earlier this week, its CEO, Bill Timmons, announced his resignation, which was accepted unanimously by the centre’s board of directors.
Gary Orman, executive vice president of the board, said Hacienda “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 organisation”.
According to the Guardian, he added: “We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees.”
Hacienda HealthCare said it would continue to co-operate with Phoenix police officers and other investigative agencies.
The probe is ongoing.