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A trial for a couple charged in the death of their 14-month-old son heard a doctor describe how she kept the child’s heart beating long enough for his parents to make it to his bedside.

A jury heard testimony Tuesday in the case of Jeromie and Jennifer Clark, who have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessaries of life for their son John.

Meagan Mahoney was in charge of the intensive care unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital when John arrived on Nov. 28, 2013.

The jury heard that his temperature was abnormally low, he was covered in a rash and that some of his toes had turned purple-black. Another doctor who treated John initially in the emergency room, Hussein Unwala, said John was alert when he arrived, but soon became sleepy and showed signs of potential brain problems.

Mahoney recalled speaking to the child’s parents, who she identified in the prisoner’s dock, while other doctors tended to John.

“I believe I told them he was severely ill, that I was very worried about his condition and that I was very worried he was not going to survive,” she said.

She said the father was “shocked and devastated” and that the mother was “also shocked, tearful, very worried.”

She said the parents told her he that had been nursing less in recent days, and that they had given him coconut powder mixed with water. Mahoney said she was also told John had not received vaccinations and that she understood John had never received any previous medical care.

Mahoney said it was presumed John was in septic shock, though blood cultures were needed to confirm it. In the meantime, he was treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and given fluids.

She said while still in the trauma bay, John had a seizure and a breathing tube was inserted. Shortly after he arrived in intensive care, his heart rate plummeted and he went into cardiac arrest.

With the help of drugs, doctors managed to get the baby’s heart rate up again. But Mahoney said the prognosis was grim.

“I was very concerned he was not going to survive the night.”

The next day, John went into cardiac arrest again. But this time, doctors could not recover his heart rate as they had before.

Electrical pads were used to keep John alive for a time. She said she wasn’t sure if the parents had been at the hospital during the morning, but that they had to be called back when John had his second cardiac arrest.

“After his heart stopped mid-morning, I kept him alive to get his parents to his bedside,” Mahoney said.

The parents were there when John died at 12:47 p.m.

Court heard that it was later determined that he had contracted a staph infection from bacteria that live on the skin.

Mahoney said it should be treatable.

“If we’d seen him much sooner, I’d have hoped that antibiotics would have curbed the systemic responses.”

Prosecutor Shane Parker said in his opening statement Monday that John was born at home, had never been vaccinated, was not fed properly and had never seen a doctor until the day before he died.

Mahoney is to be cross-examined by the Clarks’ lawyers on Wednesday.