The parents of 14-year-old Emanuel Zayas bravely fought to keep him alive after doctors discovered a small bump on his nose was actually a tumor that could threaten his life.
As Dearly previously reported, Emanuel’s parents were told their son had a rare condition, polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, when he was 2 years old.
The genetic bone disorder, which has no cure, causes scar-like tissue to develop in place of normal bone, affecting the bone and causing it to deform or fracture, according to the Mayo Clinic. The boy’s left arm and leg were the first place they discovered a problem.
Doctors were able to treat Emanuel with medication as he got older.
Then, when he was 11, doctors discovered that what his parents thought was a pimple was actually a benign tumor diagnosed as an ossifying fibroma.
The tumor grew from the size of a pimple to the size of a basketball.
The tumor covered most of Emanuel’s face, making it nearly impossible for the child to breathe. As previously reported, Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral & maxillofacial surgery at UHealth-University of Miami Health System, explained to CBS Miami:
“It’s life threatening by it’s (sic) very weight. If nothing is done it will cause a fracture of his neck or it will suffocate him from breathing just by its physical size.”
Marx had Emanuel brought to Miami from Cuba for a series of life-saving surgeries in January, after the surgeon learned about his condition. Zayas’s grateful mother, Melvis Vizcaino, said:
“It is truly a miracle of God that his pictures ended in the hands of Dr. Marx.”
But Emanuel’s parents have now been faced with some heartbreaking news.
Sadly, while he was recovering from surgery, the condition claimed Emanuel’s life over the weekend.
NBC Miami reports that Marx “saw progress in Zayas on Jan. 18, when he observed pupillary reflexes and facial muscle tone in the boy’s face.” But on Saturday, Emanuel’s condition took a turn worse and he suffered kidney and lung failure.
Prior to Emanuel’s death, Marx said:
“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. Our hopes of saving his life and in doing so would allow him a better quality of life have not been realized.”
Then the doctor shared the sad news on Saturday:
“Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel’s family and the loss of a very brave young man. Another angel has arrived in Heaven.”
The teen’s family plans to donate Emanuel’s body to medical research, in hopes of helping people who suffer from polyostotic fibrous dysplacia around the world, NBC Miami reports.
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