Baby of Woman in Coma at Ariz. Facility 'Will Be Well Cared For' by 'a Loving Family': Lawyer
A new update has been given on the 11-day-old baby boy born to the woman who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade at an Arizona nursing facility.
Attorney John Micheaels, who confirms to PEOPLE he has been retained by the woman’s family, said in a statement, “The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”
It is not yet known exactly where the baby is being raised or who he is being raised by.
On Dec. 29, a 29-year-old Native American woman, who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade after a near-drowning, gave birth to her first child at the Phoenix-based nursing facility, Hacienda HealthCare, according to KPHO.
In his statement, Michealels also revealed the patient’s relatives are “outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare,” adding, “The family is well aware of the intense news and public interest in their daughter’s case, but at this time is not emotionally ready to make a public statement.”
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The woman was identified Tuesday by San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler as a member of the tribe, which confirmed in a statement that she “has been in a persistent vegetative state and coma for over a decade.”
Police are seeking DNA samples from all male staffers at the facility in a push to identify the father of the baby boy, according to a Tuesday statement from Hacienda Healthcare obtained by PEOPLE.
The statement said the company welcomed the move to investigate what it called “this deeply disturbing but unprecedented situation.” In the announcement, the company confirmed that Phoenix police had served a search warrant “to obtain DNA from male Hacienda HealthCare staffers.”
“We had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for our company to compel our employees to undergo DNA testing conducted through Hacienda or for Hacienda to conduct voluntary genetic testing of staffers,” the statement said. “We were told it would be a violation of federal law in either instance.”
Meanwhile, parents of patients at Hacienda HealthCare are shocked and seeking answers.
“Everybody was up in shock. Trust has been broken and severed completely,” Karina Cesena, whose 22-year-old daughter, Jazzmyne, is a patient at the facility, told CBS News.
“A lot of people are mad – my family included,” Gary Londer also told the outlet.
“My heart hurts, my chest hurts. I haven’t been able to sleep well at night because of what occurred here,” a mother, Angela Gomez, shared.