Errol Milner Clifford 2006-2009

Errol Milner Clifford was born with a significant heart defect and a cognitive disability that prevented him from walking or talking. As we grieved the child we had anticipated, Errol’s full-bodied smile and irrepressible laugh turned our sorrow into joy, and taught us that many of the best things in life are unexpected. Inspired by Errol’s delightful spirit, friends, family, and neighbors rallied to support our family’s significant emotional, physical, and financial needs, through countless acts of selfless generosity. When Errol’s courageous heart finally failed him on December 23, 2009 we were left numb with grief. In these dark hours we listen hopefully for the echoes of Errol’s brilliant laugh. This blog is the story (starting from present and working back to Errol's birth) of the life and times of the amazing Errol Clifford.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Diagnosis

We parked and ran to the ambulance where they were unloading our boy. We strode into the hospital behind Errol and his litter of attendants. As we approached the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) we stopped just long enough so that Errol's grandparents, uncles, and aunts could meet him. We were terrified that it might be their only meeting. We had no idea what Errol's problem was, but we knew it was dire.
They wheeled Errol back into the NICU and asked us to wait for the pediatric cardiologist who would talk to us about his fate. I was imagining the worst possible diagnosis (two days to live, hopeless case, vegetable for life, no chance, say goodbye) and was nervous as a cat as we waited for the doctor. The doctor arrived and ushered Cary and I into a consultation room. I was ready for the death sentence.

1 comment:

Marigene said...

Dear Jonathan and Cary,

I cannot at all compare Natalya with Errol, but I will never forget the two weeks I sat in our laundry room with papers an inch thick that David had copied from the Science Library at UGA, trying to research what was wrong with Natalya. The doctors would not tell us any real details, and for me not knowing was worse than knowing something.

I chain-smoked one cigarette after another, the phone by my side waiting for it to ring with news. After much reading I learned that what they were testing her for was worse than cancer. I wondered if she would ever climb a tree, kiss a boy, or even if she would live - or if she did live, would we wish she could die? The possibility of a never-ending production of tumors made me really scared.

Love, Marigene