Two separate nursing homes had been tapped to care for a migrant girl whose 2018 death in U.S. custody was revealed just this week.
The 10-year-old died in while in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, the federal agency charged with caring for unaccompanied migrant children who cross the U.S. border, The Arizona Republic reported.
DHHS spokesman Mark Weber said the girl came from El Salvador and entered U.S. custody while at a San Antonio, TX, facility in March 2018. She was being treated as a “medically fragile child” because of a history of congenital heart defects.
“Following a surgical procedure, complications left the child in a comatose state,” Weber said. “She was transported to a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for palliative care in May after release from a San Antonio hospital.”
Three days before her death, she was transferred to a nursing facility in Omaha to be closer to her family. She died at Children’s Hospital of Omaha from fever and respiratory distress.
Although only reported this week, the girl’s death was the first of a migrant child in federal custody since 2010. Five migrant children from Guatemala have died since December after being apprehended by the Border Patrol, and a Texas holding facility recently stopped intake procedures after a flu outbreak that killed a 16-year-old boy.