Family Dealt Double Blow, Now Thankful for Health

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- This Thanksgiving season, Josh and Lisa Cantwell just can’t quit smiling.

They are so thankful for all three of their children, and their good health, which is something they didn’t have last year.

In 2011, the young couple learned their unborn son, Dominic, had a rare cyst on his throat that limited his breathing capabilities.

“So I was 18 weeks pregnant when I knew there was something wrong,” said Lisa Cantwell. “They saw a black mass in his neck.”

Her husband, Josh, said they were very concerned because Lisa’s doctor said he had never seen anything like it, and he had been practicing medicine for 35 years.

The couple, who have two young daughters, said shortly after Dominic was born he underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, and while he was still recovering, Josh’s doctor told him news he never expected to hear at age 35.

“He said 'see this big gray mass? That is not supposed to be there. Sorry to tell you Mr. Cantwell, but you have pancreatic cancer'," said Josh.

The surgeon who operated on the couple’s son said everyone at the hospital felt awful for the family.

“Our heart goes out to this family for as much as they had been through,” said Dr. Paul Krakovitz.

And the Monday before Thanksgiving last year, the Cantwells were at the Cleveland Clinic. Josh went through a 10-hour surgery to have a large cancerous mass removed from his body.

But now a year later, thanks to what the Cantwells say was excellent care by everyone at the Cleveland Clinic, they are all home, and little Dominic has a bright future.

“I see him growing up maybe being president, maybe a senator, hopefully a doctor,” said Krakovitz.

And Josh and Lisa say they will never forget the compassionate care they received at the Cleveland Clinic.

“I am extremely thankful to be here today and to be a whole family,” Lisa said.

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