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Cancer Patient Taken From Hospital By Mother
Fears are mounting for an 11-year-old girl with leukaemia and a heart catheter who was removed from a Phoenix hospital by her parents.
The child, Emily, had been receiving chemotherapy up until last week after an infection forced doctors to amputate her right arm and insert a catheter in her heart.
The device was due to be taken out when her mother unexpectedly changed her clothes and walked her out of the hospital last Wednesday night.
Police have said if the catheter is left in too long, it could lead to serious complications.
"If she contracts an infection, it really could just be a matter of days that could result in the young girl's death," Sgt Steve Martos said. "It's pretty serious."
The authorities had been held back initially by US health privacy laws that kept them from releasing the parents' names.
But police said on Monday that the US Border Patrol stopped the girl's father, Luis Bracamontes, 46, as he crossed into Arizona from Mexico over the weekend.
But he provided no clues to the girl's whereabouts and denied having any involvement in removing her from the hospital.
Police also released his wife's name, Norma Bracamontes, 35.
Neither parent is charged with a crime yet, but authorities want the child brought back to the hospital before it is too late.
The girl's father is a Mexican citizen with US residency. Emily and her mother are US citizens.
Authorities speculated they might have been concerned about paying the hospital bill.