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4/24/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
On March 9, 2017 Cliff was admitted to Hartford Hospital on advice of his cardiologist after not feeling well for several months. Initially he was treated for Endocarditis, a heart infection. The infection was not responding to antibiotics and since Cliff was born with a heart murmur that was repaired at the age of 5, it was determined he would be best treated at Boston Children's Hospital under the care of the BACH team; a team that cares for adults with congenital heart issues. Cliff was flown to Boston by LifeStar on March 17th. Cliff went through a lot of testing all the while remaining very ill, trying to get the assumed Endocarditis treated and under control. Chest scans had shown a growth or mass in his right ventricle and it was determined that he needed open heart surgery to remove it.
On March 24th, Cliff had open heart surgery to remove the mass. After an 8 hour surgery, the 7 cm mass was removed and the heart surgeon spoke to our family. The doctor was shocked at the size of the mass and marveled at the strength of Cliff's heart. He was even able to repair surgical sites from 1975. Cliff did very well post-op and was out of ICU in less than 24 hours. They had him up and walking a few hours after ex-tubation and he was eating a full meal the next day. He was on his road to recovery.
Unfortunately, the road to recovery changed with results from pathology on the mass. Cliff was diagnosed with unclassified Pleomorphic Sarcoma, High Grade. Cancer of the heart , when it's the primary source, is very rare and there isn't a lot of research or studies to refer to, but he is in the best of care at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston. He begins chemotherapy on Tuesday, April 25th for at least 8 treatments.
This will be our family's resource to let everyone know Cliff's story and to keep everyone we care about and who cares about Cliff updated on his journey. We don't need anything at this time but your continued love, energy and prayers for Cliff, Liza and their 3 girls. It has meant the world to Cliff and our entire family. This is going to be tough, but tough is what he does.