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Mom who took child with cancer from hospital speaks out

Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM ET

Video: The mother of an 11-year-old cancer patient who was taken from an Arizona hospital says her daughter is in good hands and underthe care of doctors in Mexico. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

Two weeks after a woman sneaked her 11-year-old daughter with leukemia out of a Phoenix hospital, the girl's parents say she is safe and under the care of doctors in Mexico.

“She’s happy,” Norma Bracamontes told TODAY. “She’s getting better.”

The girl, Emily Bracamontes, says she supports her mother’s actions. “My mom’s only trying to save my life,” she said. “She doesn’t want me to die in a hospital.”

Wearing a hot-pink fuzzy hat, Emily said she has no regrets about leaving Phoenix.

“I wanted to get out,” she told TODAY. “I was happy that I’m going back home to see my doctors in Mexico.”

In late November, police released as surveillance video showing Bracamontes and Emily leaving Phoenix Children’s Hospital, sparking a police search.

Before they got into a black van, the video shows Bracamontes and Emily walking into a hospital bathroom, where police say Bracamontes disconnected an IV from her daughter’s heart catheter and changed her clothes. Police said the girl’s life was at risk because the catheter wasn't properly sealed.

Emily’s parents say they took their daughter out of the hospital after she contracted a bacterial infection in her right arm, which had to be amputated, and that they were pressured over health insurance and mounting medical bills, according to TODAY.

Officials at the hospital said they couldn’t discuss Emily’s medical treatment, but released a statement saying: “We steadfastly disagree with the assertions brought forth regarding the quality of care Emily received. ... Emily’s health and well-being continues to be our primary concern.”

Police, meanwhile, are still investigating and said that Emily’s parents could face charges of child endangerment and abuse, TODAY reported.

“We have been unable to verify anything the family has said regarding medical treatment to Emily,” the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement. “The family has been uncooperative. “

Emily is said to be in remission, and her parents say they have no plans to bring her back to the U.S.


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