PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - For the first time, a Hacienda HealthCare nurse who was there while the patient gave birth spoke out exclusively to Arizona’s Family. She’s asked us to conceal her identity.
“What word would you use to describe today?” asked reporter Briana Whitney.
“Defeated,” she said.
The nurse said the past five weeks have been unimaginably hard. It starts back on Dec. 29, when the patient in a vegetative state gave birth, and she was one of the nurses there as it was happening.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Woman in vegetative state gives birth at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix]
“I imagine that’s pretty traumatizing,” said Whitney.
“Absolutely. I mean the floor just falls out from underneath you,” she said. “There was compressions, vital signs being taken on Mom to ensure the health of both Mom and baby. Adrenaline was high, obviously a chaotic scene. People were very emotional."
She said she was friends with Nathan Sutherland, the alleged rapist, for years, and said he would tend to the victim three times a week during the night shift.
Now she feels her once-friend has destroyed the perception of nurses everywhere.
“The profession alone has been tainted and stained,” she said.
She said when the letter went out to employees Thursday that Hacienda would be shutting down the ICF facility, her thoughts immediately went to patients she's cared for, for years.
She considers them family.
“Devastation. Not necessarily for the fact that the ICF is closing which is devastating in itself, but I think about our clients who are still there, and have this as their home,” she said. “I hurt because I know that so many won’t understand why they have to leave.”
[SPECIAL SECTION: Hacienda HealthCare pregnancy investigation]