By the time Joseph Harvey Henry was taken to the Chaleur Regional Hospital, he was in such bad shape that nothing "except a miracle" would have helped him long-term, a doctor testified on Thursday.

Henry, 74, died at the hospital on Nov. 4, 2010.


Patricia Pitre owned and operated the Pitre Special Care Home near Bathurst, while her daughter, Karen Pitre, was a care provider at the facility. (CBC)

He had been a resident at the Pitre Special Care Home near Bathurst for 29 years due to physical and mental illnesses.

Patricia Pitre, who was the owner and operator of the home, and her daughter, Karen Pitre, who was a care provider at the facility, are both charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life in connection with Henry's death.

When Henry arrived at the emergency room by ambulance on Nov. 1, he was curled up in the fetal position on a stretcher and was so weak he was unable to move, except for his eyes, said Dr. Danny Thibeault.

The senior's skin colour was grey and his cheeks were sunken in, Thibeault told the jury.

An examination revealed Henry had water in his lungs, was dehydrated, and had a cardiac deficiency, meaning his heart wasn't pumping enough blood to his body, he said.

Rough shape for days

Thibeault also suspected there was a gastro-intestinal bleed, he said.

In addition, there was a strong smell of urine, said Thibeault, noting he could smell it from 20 feet away. It also smelled like there was some kind of infection, he said.

The court previously heard that Henry had five bed sores.

Thibeault said he spoke to Patricia Pitre and a man who accompanied her to the hospital that day. They told him they were Henry's caregivers and had power of attorney, he said.

They also said Henry had been in rough shape for several days, that they had tried to get him help from his family doctor, extra mural services and a hospital in Moncton, but "all doors were closed," Thibeault testified.

A medical archivist was also called by the Crown to verify Henry's medical records. She said he had 13 medical visits between 1996 and 2010, with decreasing frequency.

The Crown plans to call 34 witnesses, including social workers, police officers, and hospital staff who were working when Henry was transported to the emergency room by ambulance.

The trial is scheduled to continue Friday and is expected to last four weeks.

The Pitres, who live in Pabineau Falls, are being tried together, but have different defence lawyers.

Other patients of the privately-run special care home were removed a few days after Henry's death.