With a woman in a vegetative state having recently given birth at Hacienda HealthCare, the facility is being praised by a woman with an adult son who is a patient at the facility.
After searching for a month to find a place to care for her son, Karen Longer found most healthcare facilities to be “disgusting” and “dirty.”
“And we walked into Hacienda, and the people were so nice, and they were so caring. We said, ‘This is the place we have to put him,’” said Longer on Thursday.
Her 26-year-old son has now been at the facility for two years and has been cared for with a great about of respect considering his condition.
After learning that a 29-year-old woman in a vegetative state for more than a decade had given birth at Hacienda on Dec. 29, Longer said she was sick to her stomach.
A sexual assault investigation by the Phoenix Police Department is currently in progress, including DNA collection from male staffers.
Hacienda HealthCare specializes in providing around-the-clock care for infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities or who are considered “medically fragile.”
Since the birth occurred, additional safety measures have been put in place, including at least two staff members being present for patient interactions and more scrutiny of visitors.
The company is cooperating with the investigation and welcomes the DNA tests being done.
Longer blamed Hacienda’s reputation being tarnished on whoever impregnated the woman.
“Most of the people who I know and I’ve met have been nothing but caring,” she said when discussing the impact on the staff. “These patients are like their family to them. Right now they’re very upset, they’re very depressed.”
With the positive impact Hacienda has had on the lives of many, Longer hopes that the incident doesn’t result in the facility being forced to close.
“Most people do not have anybody to speak for them, and Hacienda is their family, and this is all they know,” she said.
In light of recent events, Longer is considering placing a security camera in her son’s room, despite her appreciation for Hacienda.
“Only if they let me. They’re checking it out legally with their attorneys and the HIPAA laws,” she said.