Police Seek Girl With Leukemia Who Was Taken From Hospital by Mom

An 11-year-old girl taken from Phoenix Children's Hospital on Wednesday night with a catheter still implanted in her heart may die without prompt care, authorities say.

Police aren't sure why Norma, a 35-year-old woman (no last names were released) took young Emily from the hospital, and efforts to find the family have come up dry. Surveillance pictures were released in the hopes that someone from the public will call with information.

The girl had been brought to the hospital by her parents, Norma and Luis, for treatment of leukemia. While there, the girl's arm become infected and had to be amputated. A catheter was placed in her heart.

The device, a long, narrow tube used inserted through a blood vessel directly into the heart, helps measure various heart functions. Emily's is out there somewhere, just walking around with one of these in her heart.

On Wednesday night, police say, Norma removed the IV from the catheter and had Emily change into street clothes. Then, along with a little boy, the mom and daughter walked out of the hospital.

Medical officials say that if the catheter isn't removed from Emily's heart, it could become infected, leading to her death.

The family may be driving a black Ford van.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.