A 14-year-old boy suffering from a rare medical condition that caused a 10-pound tumor to emerge on his face died after undergoing surgery, according to one of the doctors in charge of the procedure.
"Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel's family and the loss of a very brave young man," said Dr. Robert E. Marx, a surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital. "Another angel has arrived in Heaven."
For 12 years, Emanuel Zayas battled a medical condition called polyostotic fibrous dysplacia, an illness which causes developmentally certain bones to become soft. The illness caused a 10-pound benign tumor to develop on Zayas' face.
Zayas’ parents tried for years to get help. Doctors were able to get a temporary visa for the boy and his family to come to Miami from Cuba to have the surgery, which was scheduled in January at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Marx said he saw progress in Zayas on Jan. 18, when he observed pupillary reflexes and facial muscle tone in the boy's face. But on Saturday, Dr. Marx said Zayas' condition had worsened with kidney and lung failure.
"I am saddened by the fact that we are losing him and that apparently the physiologic stress of the surgery was too much for his compromised anatomy to overcome," Marx said on Satuday. "Our hopes of saving his life and in doing so would allow him a better quality of life have not been realized."
Dr. Marx said that Zayas' family plans on donating Emanuel's body to medical research in hopes of learning more about the rare disease and helping people across the world who suffer from polyostotic fibrous dysplacia.
"I am personally saddened but want to thank all of you for your well wishes and prayers," Dr. Marx said. "Please continue the prayers."