Daughter tells story of how Dr. Fata treated her father - Fox 2 News Headlines

Daughter tells story of how Dr. Fata treated her cancer-stricken father, a WWII veteran

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Sidney Centilli Jr. Sidney Centilli Jr.
(WJBK) -

Sidney Centilli Jr. was a World War II veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart after he was wounded in the battle of Okinawa.  At the age of 87 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He spent the last year of his life in the care of Dr. Fata and according to his daughter "that's when the nightmare" began.

Barbara Laboissonniere wants people to know what happened to her dad.  She came to Fox 2 to share her story of how her father became a patient of Dr. Farid Fata.  The government says Fata ripped off Medicare for millions by giving chemotherapy to patients who didn't need it and diagnosing cancer when the illness wasn't apparent.

According to Laboissonniere, an Associate Professor of Literature at Madonna University in suburban Detroit, the case of her father offers another twist to a disturbing tale of greed, false hope and undue pain and suffering.

Play the video to hear Laboissonniere offer her compelling narrative on how Dr. Fata treated her father.

Laboissonniere says her dad Sidney Centilli Jr., at the age of 87,  was diagnosed with stage 4, pancreatic cancer on Veteran's Day in 2010.

The cancer metastasized and spread to his liver.  He was a patient at the University of Michigan Hospital and Beaumont Hospital.  He was not able to undergo the Whipple Procedure, which removes part of pancreas, small intestine and sometimes part of the stomach. 

Most patients given this prognosis, according to the Mayo Clinic, have little more than a year to live.  Pancreatic cancer that migrates to the liver is considered incurable.

Laboissonniere says her father, who lived in Clarkston, did not want to burden his family by having them continuously drive him to Ann Arbor for treatments.  

When Dr. Fata opened the Michigan Hematology Clinic in Clarkston, the close proximity to Centilli's home led him to give to make an appointment.

Dr. Fata gave Centilli hope that an aggressive chemotherapy program could extend his life. 

According to Laboissonniere, this is when the nightmare began.  Centilli began the chemotherapy program.  She says the side effects made her father physically sick.  "We had to rush him to the emergency room several times," says Laboissonniere.

One day Centilli had enough.  His immune system was so weakened that he could not be near his grandchildren. "Being around his grand kids was everything to him," says Laboissonniere.

A meeting was set up with Dr. Fata, Centilli's wife and two of his daughters.  Laboissonniere was not at the meeting.

At this meeting Dr. Fata gave them incredible news.  He told them that his pancreatic cancer was resolved and that it was gone from the liver "Dr. Fata told them he was basically cured," says Laboissonniere.

She continues, "He told them he wanted to him to undergo a cutting edge, experimental treatment with some type of Gamma knife or ray, at his Rochester Hills Office. I was horrified, I knew that stage-four pancreatic cancer was incurable, but my dad trusted Dr Fata so much, he wanted to believe it so much, that night he went out and bought balloons and cake to celebrate."

Part of the treatment meant that Centilli had to be fitted with a plaster body cast.  "My dad was claustrophobic and this was very difficult for him, " says Laboissonniere, "my dad told me on many occasion this was causing him great anxiety and sleep difficulties, far beyond what he was experiencing just with the cancer."

Centilli had three or four treatments.  He then experienced chest pain.  He was admitted to St. Joe's Hospital where they drained fluid from his lungs, a very painful procedure.  

Laboissonniere says Dr Fata visited and told Centilli had three days to live and that he should go home.  She says, "My dad looked up in utter amazement and said 'What happened? How did his happen?' My father had no idea."

Laboissonniere says her father was cheated.  He was not prepared to deal with his death and get his affairs in order.

He died at home just a few days later, December 7, 2011, Pearl Harbor Day.  He was in Dr. Fata's care for 11-months.

Laboissonniere says she is sharing her story about her father for two main reasons: 1. So that this never happens again.  2. So that the medical community can monitor itself.

She is not sure how much the total monetary cost is for all the treatments, but in her words "Dr Fata was given a blank check."  All the expenses for chemotherapy, PET-scans, Gamma Rays, counter side-effect medicine and on.  A lot of money passing through Medicare.

"This is a example of how not to treat an elderly person with cancer" says Laboissonniere .

More about Sidney Centilli Jr.:

He was a World War II Veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart after he was wounded in the battle of Okinawa.
He was an engineer with Fisher Body for more than 44-years.
He was married.
He had 5 daughters, and 17 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Barbara Laboissonniere thought of him as a 'Soldier-Scholar.'
She says he loved his grandchildren and was a man of great integrity.

Laboissonniere has discovered a Facebook page that has gathered more than 500 families who claim to be victims of Dr. Fata's practice.  The page is designed to help people grieve and share stories.

GO TO: Patients & Families Treated by Dr. Fata

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