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A brave two-year-old girl who is being slowly suffocated by her enormous tongue faces a life or death battle over Christmas .
Little Zhyrille Cruz, who suffers from a rare tumour, is likely to die if she does not undergo surgery to treat her condition.
The toddler was born with a noticeably swollen mouth.
And shortly after, she diagnosed with lymphangioma- an uncommon disease which causes benign growths in the lymph vessels.
Her poverty-stricken parents claim doctors initially told them their daughter’s condition would not develop into anything dangerous.
But they watched in despair as the lymphangioma slowly worsened, leaving Zhyrille with a massive tongue and struggling to breathe.
The toddler’s mum Mary Cruz, 22, took her to the local government ‘sweepstakes office’, the equivalent of National Lottery funding in the UK.
There, the little girl, who is believed to be from the Philippines, received funding for doctors to fit a tube into her neck for her to breathe.
Zhyrille is now receiving free oral chemotherapy medicine at home in a desperate bid to reduce the size of her benign tumour.
If the tumour is reduced, doctors will put her forward for surgery which her mum and dad, Gerry Cruz, 28, will have to try to fund themselves.
Heartbreakingly, the condition could be treated relatively easily with an operation in Britain.
But without surgery, it is likely that Zhyrille will become one of the rare cases where lymphangioma ends up being fatal.
She and her family now face an agonising wait over the Christmas period.
But despite the situation, the adorable toddler came across like any other little girl when she was photographed at her home last Thursday.
Mum Mary said: “Zhyrille is the light in our hearts. We don’t know what the future holds, but we will make this the best Christmas for her.
“Zhyrille is the best gift we could have. Her laughter makes everyone smile. I pray every day she will grow up to be a bright and beautiful young girl.
(Image: Viral Press)
“I wish for nothing but to see a smile on her lovely face every single second. I want to see her grow up and achieve her goals. That is our dream.”
Lymphangioma is a rare disease of the lymphatic system which causes legions ranging in size from microscopic to large.
It is mostly found in young children, mainly around the neck.
In Zhyrille’s case, lymphangioma started while she was in the womb. It was allegedly missed by doctors at her birth, but was diagnosed shortly after.
The youngster’s parents live with family and earn around $150 (about £112) a month through Gerry’s wage as a contractor.
They were unable to afford any proper treatment for their daughter.
However, she finally began receiving some medical attention earlier this year from a local charity which, along with the government, helped to fund the tube for her breathing.
The family also collected three months’ worth of chemotherapy medication in October and are awaiting tests in January to see if it has been effective.
After this, doctors will decide whether Zhyrille can have surgery.
Mary said: “We will do what we can.
“We work and we save as much as possible for our daughter. We pray that the medicine will work and she can have an operation.
“She takes medicines twice a day. A tablet costs 300 pesos (£4).
“We still don’t have her next batch of medicines because the office only release medicines on schedule.
“The doctors have not yet given us an estimated amount for the surgery because she’s still under observation whether she can take the surgery or not although we are expecting it to be really expensive.”
Fatalities from lymphangioma – which is not cancerous – are virtually unheard of in developed countries, where medics can treat the condition early with a simple operation.
However, in undeveloped countries, the relatively high cost of doctors and surgery means some patients can go their entire lifetime without treatment before the condition eventually kills them.
Ten and thousands of Hong Kong protesters flood city streets in largest rally in weeks
Source: AFP- A sea of democracy activists flooded the streets of Hong Kong Sunday in a defiant show to the city’s leaders that their movement still pulls wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters carrying umbrellas poured across the heart of Hong Kong island defying torrential rain and a police order not to march from a park where they had gathered earlier for a rally.
Weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis, with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles against riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.
Sunday’s action, which organisers the Civil Human Rights Front said drew more than 1.7 million in the largest rally in weeks, was billed as a return to the “peaceful” origins of the leaderless protest movement.
“It’s been a long day and we’re very tired, but to see so many people out in the rain marching for Hong Kong gives strength to everyone,” said Danny Tam, a 28-year-old graphic designer.
The unprecedented political crisis was sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.
But protests have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.
Anger has been sharpened among protesters by the perceived heavy-handedness of the police who have used tear gas, baton charges and rubber bullets in incidents that have pinballed across social media.
“The police are doing things that are totally unacceptable,” said Yim, who like many of the protesters gave only one name.
“They are hurting citizens, they aren’t protecting us.”
AFP / Manan VATSYAYANATorrential rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of protesters in Hong Kong
Communist Party-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone towards the protesters, decrying the “terrorist-like” actions of a violent hardcore minority among the demonstrators.
Despite the near-nightly clashes with police, the movement has won few concessions from Beijing or the city’s unelected leadership.
Hong Kong Activities face crucial weekend test after airport setback
Source: AFP- Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster another huge crowd following criticism over a recent violent airport protest and as concerns mount over Beijing’s next move.
Ten weeks of protests have plunged the international finance hub into crisis with the communist mainland taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions “terrorist-like”.
Chinese state media have put out images of military personnel and armoured personnel carriers across the border in Shenzhen, while the United States has warned Beijing against sending in troops, a move many analysts say would be a reputational and economic disaster for China.
The nationalistic Global Times newspaper said there would not be a repeat of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which hundreds — or even thousands — are believed to have been killed, if Beijing moves to quash the protests.
“The incident in Hong Kong won’t be a repeat of the June 4th political incident in 1989,” it said, insisting the country now had more sophisticated approaches.
It was a rare reference to the bloody events, which are taboo in China.
Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.
Millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters for 10 consecutive weekends.
For most of that time, US President Donald Trump has taken a hands-off approach to the unrest but began speaking up this week, suggesting any potential trade deal with Beijing could be upended by a violent response from the mainland.
Speaking on Thursday, Trump urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to meet protesters and solve the crisis “humanely”.
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