MIAMI – A 14-year-old boy from Cuba, who traveled to Miami in November with his family on a medical visa, died Friday, days after he underwent surgery to remove a 10-pound tumor from his jaw.
The Miami Herald reported that the surgery at Holtz Children's Hospital at Jackson Memorial was successful, but Emanuel Zayas died days later after he suffered kidney and lung complications.
Zayas' parents told reporters at a news conference last month that their son, who suffered from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, was forced to watch the benign tumor grow from his jaw for the past two years, making it difficult for him to breathe and eat.
"As parents, we've kept fighting every moment," Zayas' mother, Melvis Vizaino, said.
The disorder crippled the teen's leg, softened his skull bone and led to a pimple on his nose that never stopped growing.
Doctors said if the tumor had not been removed, it would have eventually fractured the teen's neck and suffocated him.
Zayas' family donated his remains to science in hopes of learning more about polyostotic fibrous dysplasia.