Doctors to remove basketball-sized tumor from teen’s face

U.S. & World

MIAMI, FL (WCMH) – A 14-year-old boy from Cuba is hoping that doctors in Miami can save his life.

WFOR reported Emanuel Zayas was diagnosed at birth with polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a condition that replaces multiple areas of bones with fibrous tissue and may cause fractures and deformity of the legs, arms, and skull.

The condition began affecting his left arm and leg when he was two years old. Doctors were able to control his condition with medication after his condition worsened at age 9.

Noel Zayas, Emanuel’s father, said what started as a pimple on the left side of his nose turned into a fleshy mass the size of a basketball, the Miami Herald reported. The tumor is not cancerous, but it threatens to break Emanuel’s neck or suffocate him.

Two months ago, after learning about Emanuel’s condition, doctors at UHealth-University of Miami Health System offered to help.

Dr. Robert Marx is one of the few doctors in the country who specializes in operating on tumors of this size.

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

“It is truly a miracle of God that his pictures ended in the hands of Dr. Marx,” said Melvis Vizcaino, Emanuel’s mother. “I am so grateful he was willing to take the case. He and everyone at Jackson has shown us so much compassion.”

Emanuel’s first surgery is scheduled for January.

Jackson Health Foundation’s IKF Wonderfund is raising funds to provide medical care for Zayas. Donations can be made online at

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