Emanuel Zaya is a 14-year-old boy from Villa Clara, Cuba that has been living a tragedy for the past years. It all began with a banal pimple that appeared on his face when he was 11. Back then no one could anticipate what was about to come.
The “pimple” transformed into a 10-pound tumor on his face and now it threatens to suffocate the boy. His parents managed to obtain a medical visa and they are now in Miami so that doctors can try to remove the tumor.
Parents tried to find help for years
While the tumor has been growing for years, Emanuel’s parents did not manage to find the help they needed. “I knocked on a lot of hospital doors. I thank God that we’re here and that this country and Jackson Memorial would welcome us. … To see our son deforming and all we can do is watch, it’s not easy,” declared Noel Zayas, the boy’s father.
The weight is the most dangerous factor
“It’s not going to travel to other parts of his body, but it is life-threatening by its very weight,” explained Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System. Dr. Marx was the one who diagnosed the boy after he saw his case at a medical conference.
Marx was the one that realized that Emanuel has a disorder named polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, causing him to develop scar-like tissue instead of bone. Marx also removed a 16-pound facial tumor in the past.
The operation is supposed to take place on January 12, and it is expected to last about 12 hours, so that the doctors will remove the tumor but also reconstruct Emanuel’s nose, cheek and jaw.