What started out as a regular pimple, grew into a 10lb tumor in the middle of a teenage boy's face that he is now having surgically removed.
According to the parents of 14-year-old Emanuel Zayas, the pimple first appeared when he was beginning to go through puberty, at around 12 years old, and eventually grew into the massive tumor it is now.
Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, spoke to journalists and revealed that the tumor is benign, or non-cancerous, but does still bring many other health risks to the teen.
Due to its placement and size, Zayas has trouble eating and therefore has become malnourished. Much of this is due to the tumor pressing down on the boys' trachea.
It’s life threatening by its very weight,” Dr. Marx said of the tumor, according to the Miami Herald. “If nothing is done, it will cause a fracture of his neck.”
Zayas and his family are from the town of Villa Clara, in central Cuba. They had difficulty getting doctors there to help them as no one was familiar enough with the prognosis to help. Eventually, however, the case came to the attention of Dr. Marx and he knew exactly what it was and how to correct it.
“I knocked on a lot of hospital doors,” Zayas' father said. “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.”
Dr. Marx will be performing the procedure to have the tumor removed which he believes will greatly improve Zayas' quality of life. While he will need more surgeries to correct other issues caused by the tumor, the initial removal should help with improving the boys' eyesight, which has been hindered by the tumor's placement.
“He’ll also be able to breathe a whole lot better,” Dr. Marx added. “He’ll be able to eat a whole lot better.”