14-year-old Cuban Emanuel Zayas, dies days after surgery to remove a giant football-sized 10lb tumour from his face; the 10lb tumour was successfully amputated but a few days later he suffered kidney and lung complications.
The mammoth tumour began as a pimple on the boy’s nose when he hit puberty, but grew so big that he struggled to eat and breathe.
Local 10 News reported that the teen’s parents have spent the past two years unsuccessfully searching for help in their native Cuba.
In November the family travelled on a medical visa to Miami for potentially life-saving treatment.
Dr Robert Marx, head of maxillofacial surgery at the University of Miami Health System told the Miami Herald that the Zayas family donated the boy’s remains to science, so experts can learn more more about Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia.
He said: “After visiting Emanuel last night and observing a ray of hope from his pupillary reflexes and the muscle tone of his face, I was informed this morning that his condition had turned grave.
“I am saddened by the fact that we are losing him and that the physiological stress of the surgery was apparently too much for his compromised anatomy.
“Our hopes of saving his life, and with that allowing him a better quality of life, were not realised.”
At a press conference shortly before the surgery Dr Marx said: “It’s benign, meaning it’s not a cancer. It’s not going to travel to other parts of his body, but it’s life-threatening by its very weight.
“His lower jaw is normal. He gets food through his mouth the best he can and squashes it down.”