A young boy is facing a desperate race against time to stay alive after a basketball sized tumour grew on his face.
Although the tumour is benign, doctors say it is life threatening because its size makes it difficult for Emanuel Zayas to breathe and eat.
Now surgeons in Florida are asking for public health to pay for the surgery he needs to keep him alive.
Local 10 News reports the boy and his family arrived in Miami last month from Cuba on a medical visa.
His parents had spent years in Cuba seeking a doctor that would take on the operation.
But now in just a few weeks, Emanuel Zayas will get all the help he needs at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The news channel said for the past two years, Zayas watched a benign tumour grow from his jaw, making it difficult for him to breathe and eat.
It was a medical case that doctors in his native Cuba could do nothing about.
“As parents, we’ve kept fighting every moment,” Zayas’ mother, Melvin Vizaino, said.
The teen will undergo surgery next month at JMH to remove the 10-pound growth, a procedure that will take eight to 10 hours and requires a team of four surgeons, the news station reports.
“The length of surgery time wise has little to do with how people recover. It has to do with the blood loss,” chief surgeon Dr. Robert Marx told the station.
“We are being very careful to preserve any blood flow and tie off blood vessels that will get him to recover sooner.”
Zayas has suffered from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia since he was just two years old.
The disorder has crippled his leg, softened his skull bone and led to a pimple on his nose that has never stopped growing.
Left untreated, the tumour would most certainly fracture his neck and suffocate him, doctors told the channel.
“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,” Marx said.
“His lower jaw is normal. He gets food through his mouth the best he can and squashes it down.”After next month’s surgery, the teen will need at least two more surgeries to reconstruct his jaw and replace his teeth.
The International Kids Fund program of the Jackson Health Foundation will cover the costs of surgery through donations.
“Now that we’re in Christmas and the New Year, please be generous. This requires a lot of time and a lot of fundraising,” Mariana Martinez, with IKF Wonderfund, said.
The teenager will undergo surgery on January 12, and, depending on his recovery, he’ll have reconstruction surgery later in the year.
Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead
All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.
Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.
But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.
In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.
At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.
Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government
After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.
Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival, Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.
Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.
Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.
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