Surgeons in New Mexico have removed a rare, football-sized tumour from the neck and upper body of a Mexican boy. This is the fortunate result of a two-year charitable effort to get the disfigured child U.S. medical attention, a church official said on Tuesday.
The 11-year-old patient, Jose Antonio Ramirez Serrano from Ciudad Juarez, just across the US-Mexico border from El Paso, Texas, is expected to remain at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital for at least a month, in order to recover from Monday’s surgery.
The massive growth, nearly a foot in length and measuring about 4 inches wide and deep, was removed by a 25-member surgical team during a 12-hour operation that ended late on Monday, according to Kristean Alcocer, Spanish ministry coordinator for the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho near Albuquerque. The boy remained under sedation and in intensive care following the operation, Alcocer told Reuters, adding the boy’s medical bills and related expenses had been paid for through donations.
“We are so thrilled. This has been two years in the making,”
said Alcocer, who was part of the effort to bring Jose to the United States for treatment.
“The road to recovery will be long, and many challenges still lie ahead for this young boy,”
Back in July 2012, US Homeland Security Investigations assisted in picking up Jose and his parents from a neighbourhood in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Furthermore federal agents helped the family seek care for Jose after First Baptist Church members saw him during a missionary visit. After stories and images of the boy went viral, First Baptist Church officials reported an improvement in donations to help him raise money for the surgeries.
Jose was diagnosed with venous lymphangioma on his shoulder. Moreover parents have said the tumor on his shoulder and neck grew so large that it affected his eyesight. They were afraid it might move towards his heart. But having no money for medical care, the family sought treatment in Juarez and El Paso, but they failed to receive any help with removing the tumour that has affected Jose since birth.
Jose still needs more surgeries to reconstruct his shoulder bone and to remove excess skin, officials explained.