Cuban teen with 10-pound facial tumor dies following surgery in Miami

MIAMI (WSVN) - A teenage boy with a large facial tumor who traveled to Miami from Cuba to undergo surgery has died.

Emanuel Zayas, 14, died Friday night, several days after his surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the facility confirmed.

The Miami Herald reports that the facial surgery initially was successful, but Zayas developed kidney and lung complications several days later.

“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,” Dr. Richard Marx, head of maxilofacial surgery at the University of Miami Health System, said in a statement. “Our hopes of saving his life, and with that allowing him a better quality of life, were not realized.”

Zayas and his family had traveled from Cuba in November on a medical visa to get the massive, 10-pound tumor on his face removed.

The condition was caused by Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, and the decision to undergo surgey was made because the tumor had become life-threatening for the boy.

“It’s life-threatening by its very weight,” Marx had said before Zayas’ surgery. “If nothing is done, this will cause a fracture of his neck, or it will suffocate him from breathing just by its physical size.”

A GoFundMe page had been set up to help the family with their travel expenses. The fundraiser’s organizer says remaining funds will be donated to the Jackson Health Foundation to cover the boy’s medical care.

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