PHOENIX — Surveillance video from Phoenix Children’s Hospital shows a women walking down the hall pushing an IV stand with an 11-year-old at her right.
That 11-year-old is Emily, who is in the middle of a bout with leukemia that is so severe it caused an infection that led doctors to amputate her arm. The woman who unplugged a catheter that was delivering medication to Emily’s heart and inexplicably led her away from the hospital is her mother, Norma Bracamontes.
Doctors say Emily’s treatment was almost finished when she was taken, and now her life may be in danger.
That danger, doctors say, stems from the possibility of another deadly infection that could ensue if the girl’s heart catheter isn’t replaced.
Bracamontes is not being charged with a crime yet, but authorities want the child brought back to the hospital before it’s too late, Steve Martos, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, said.
“People are certainly free to come and go as they please,” Martos told the Associated Press. “If they don’t want medical attention they can leave.
“But in this particular case, we have an 11-year-old girl who can’t really decide for herself who was removed from the hospital and put in danger because she’s not getting that last bit of medical attention that she needs.”
Police say the family lives a “nomadic” lifestyle with no permanent residence. They have relatives in Arizona, California and Mexico. The girl’s father, Luis Bracamontes, is a Mexican citizen with a U.S. resident alien ID card.
Authorities have not providing a specific reason as to why the family left, but say it could have had something to do with paying the medical bill.