As if all that has happened to me over the past 16 years (all documented below) has not been enough, I'm finally out of the hospital after a 6 month stay and 5 surgeries, only to be hit in the face with the fact that my wife, caretaker, partner etc, has been stricken with Grade 3 cancer. You'll find her photo replacing mine up top.
We are in desperate need of help as we are in debt at just over 200k and in danger of losing our home which we've been through once before with our first home. Due to our disabilities, neither of us can drive, cook, clean or handle basic household chores which makes everyday living a misery.
I'm here, reaching out on behalf of myself and my wife in a desperate plea to raise money to cover extreme medical expenses as a result of a host of 30 + non-curable connective tissue, vascular, neurological, auto-immune and cancerous disorders that are simultaneously attacking my immune system, vascular system, nervous system, pulmonary system along with the glands throughout my body, bones, and spine.
For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I discovered Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, as well as working along side many other popular recording artists including Megadeth, Metallica, Corrosion of Conformity, Exodus, Death, Dark Angel, Possessed, Venom, Opeth, Slash’s Snakepit, Guns N’ Roses, Gary Moore, Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes & Gov’t Mule, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Agnostic Front and endless others while working at Relativity Records, Music For Nations and Koch Entertainment.
My partial medical history:
In the midst of a very productive and successful A&R career, I became critically ill in March 2004 – diagnosed with 32 + non-curable connective tissue, vascular, neurological, autoimmune and pre-cancerous disorders. All of this is unfortunately accompanied by a constant, crippling level of pain, which has me confined to a wheelchair or bed most the time.
Unfortunately, surgery is not an option because several of my pre-existing disorders will prevent my body from healing, which will lead to infections that could be fatal. In early 2005 I was hospitalized for a 12-day battle with sepsis and cellulitis, which nearly cost me my life.
In December 2006, I liquidated my home, life savings, and personal belongings to cover my medical costs. That money, along with funds generated from a benefit concert organized and hosted by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, enabled me and my family to relocate to the Medical Research Triangle of North Carolina, where I was placed under the care of a team of specialists at Duke University Hospital and the Carolina Center for Pain Management.
In 2006 the vasculitis and venous-stasis flared up causing a severe deformation of my left foot known as Charcot Foot, leading to the amputation of my left leg and the need for a prosthetic leg. Several months later I experienced a massive heart attack, followed by a period of massive internal bleeding. I had to have several procedures on my stomach during which they found a huge clot which upon removal it exposed a huge tumor that found it’s way into my pancreas as well as my kidneys and spine, creating a rather dangerous situation.
My pancreas, spine, stomach and kidneys are generating an unimaginable level of pain throughout my abdomen, my lower back and groin, leaving me confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk more than a few feet. My nights are sleepless and my days are a battle throughout which I do my best to smile to disguise the pain while doing all I can to keep my family moving along.
On May 1st, I suffered a massive heart attack and May 20th I began severe internal bleeding, which developed into a case of sepsis which led to infections throughout my body and my lower right leg, which is now a prime candidate for amputation as it continues to bleed out, with the skin battling cellulitis. My left kidney is enlarged and has begun to fail and it is going to require a series of operations to clear out the infections and get the kidney functioning properly again. The big danger is that I must remain on blood thinner because of the heart attacks and with infection already in my blood, the blood thinner will cause excessive bleeding and the spread of the sepsis infection which in turn can lead to another heart attack. Every procedure is dangerous at this point as there is always the risk of going into cardiac arrest while in surgery. It's a big catch 22. If they do not clear all the infections, it’s very likely that I’d experience heart failure again.
This past June 3rd, during the first of the kidney surgeries, I began to flat-line on the operating table and I was placed on full life support for several days, then moved to ICU for another week. Life support is absolutely terrifying when you wake from it with tubes going into each lung, your stomach and into your arteries to keep your blood flowing. It was the most terrifying of all my hospital experiences and I’ve had some bad ones.
I know this sounds like a lot to absorb but in actuality, it is only the tip of the iceberg. I have been through so much trauma, dozens of surgeries and terrifying experiences. If I went through it all I’d fill another 20 pages.
Throughout my career in the music industry, I received no pension and no royalties on the millions of records I was responsible for selling. I am now left with no recourse but to reach out and plead for financial help from those who knew me and worked with me throughout my career.
My wife and I are in serious need of financial help. We need to raise an additional 300K to pay down the debt on our home and to pay down several massive critical medical bills. We are currently flat broke and busted and have no significant equity remaining in our home and have maxed out every possible loan and line of credit, putting us heavily in debt. I've been through this once before, and now at 64 years old, with the critical health issues I have, I can’t allow it again, as I would not survive days, let alone weeks and it is absolutely terrifying for myself and my wife.
We are relying on friends, and kind donors to help us, and we are desperately in need of a few more angels to step forward and work some miracles for us, so we can keep our current home and continue to receive the quality of medical care required.
Sending you all our love,
Cliff & Patty Cultreri