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MIAMI - What began as a mere pimple on his son's face two years ago has grown into a life-threatening 10-pound tumor, Emanuel Zayas' father said.
The Zayas family, who live in Cuba, received a medical visa so the 14-year-old boy can have a complex procedure performed by surgeons in Miami, the Miami Herald reported. Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, said the tumor is life-threatening because of its weight and its position, which is pressing down on the boy's trachea.
Zayas has trouble getting nourishment because of the tumor, and Marx said if left untreated, the tumor could fracture the boy's neck. The tumor is not cancerous, doctors said.
It will take a surgical team approximately 12 hours to perform the surgery, the Miami Herald reported. Zayas will face future surgeries to reconstruct facial features.
The cost of the surgery is expected to be approximately $200,000. The Jackson Health Foundation is raising money on the family's behalf to help cover medical costs. According to the foundation, Zayas was "born with a disorder called polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a condition that replaces multiple areas of bones with fibrous tissue and may cause fractures and deformity of the legs, arms, and skull."
The surgery will take place Jan. 12 at Holtz Children's Hospital, the Miami Herald reported.