The exact medical condition of the murdered four-year-old in the Goforth trial was made clear for the court Friday.
Dr. Abdulhafid Ali Essalah testified at the trial of Tammy and Kevin Goforth, a Regina couple on trial in the murder of a four-year-old girl and injuring a two-year-old girl.
Dr. Essalah was the on-call pediatrician the night the four-year-old was bought to the Regina General Hospital emergency room (ER), Aug. 1, 2012.
She was in cardiac arrest when he first saw her, testifying, “her heart was not beating, they fought to resuscitate her”.
It was his job to direct people in their work and took 15 minutes to bring her heart back.
There is real concern after 10 minutes of no heart activity that the brain can be permanently damaged.
Once the girl was stabilized and her heart was beating, she was moved to the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU). She was breathing with the help of a machine.
As the doctor testified, the mother of the girl quietly sobbed in the courtroom.
Essalah went on to tell the court the girl was in the hospital for three days. There was no evidence that she was breathing on her own. She was on an IV to rehydrate and other medications.
Describing the exact nature of her injuries, Essalah testified she was “severely dehydrated, emaciated, skin and bone, with multiple bruising and skin abrasions”.
She was malnourished, suffering renal failure and after showing no signs of improvement was classified as brain-dead.
Full brain activity registers on the Glasgow Coma scale as 15/15. The girl was 3/15, the lowest you can be.
“She was just skin really. It was obvious from her weight she was malnourished for sometime,” he told the court.
Dr. Essalah testified “she was emaciated, the body is trying to use it’s own protein and fat to survive. It takes a while to correct that”.
“She was emaciated, the body is trying to use it’s own protein and fat to survive. It takes a while to correct that” – Dr. Abdulhafid Ali Essalah
Under cross-examination, Essalaha confirmed malnourishment doesn’t just mean getting no nutrients, it can mean not getting enough.
The doctor testified that generally dehydration is a result of having no fluid for 12 to 48 hours. He estimates the four-year-old had spent about 24 hours with no fluid prior to her coming to ER.
The defence confirms cardiac massage on the girl requires some force on the chest and a chest X-Ray was performed on her.
Court also heard from Const. Kayla Dunford of the Regina Police Service. She sat with the girl in the ICU throughout her shift.
“She was tiny. Very frail, very thin. Multiple bruises all over her body.” – Const. Kayla Dunford.
Requiring no notes, and looking directly at the jury, she testified, “she was tiny. Very frail, very thin. Multiple bruises all over her body.”
Testimony continues Friday afternoon. Check back for updates.
Follow along with News Talk Radio’s continuing coverage of the trial.
Goforth Trial Day 1: Tensions run high in courtroom for murder trial of Tammy and Kevin Goforth
Goforht Trial Day 2: Forensic officers testify about condition of home
Goforth Trial Day 4: ‘Skinny with bruises’: first responders testify about finding girls at Goforth trial