A 14-year-old suffering from a 10-pound tumor on his face is set to undergo life-saving surgery to remove the mass before it suffocates him.
Emanuel Zayas, 14, was born with polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a condition that replaces tissue with bone causing deformities of the legs, arms and skull.
What he thought was a zit on his nose at age 11, was skull bone growing from his upper jaw into a basketball-sized benign tumor that has severely affected the way he eats, sees and talks, leaving him unrecognizable.
Though the tumor is non-cancerous, it is life-threatening because if it continues to grow, the size will suffocate him and the weight will fracture his neck.
Dr Robert Marx of University of Miami Health systems will lead the surgery to remove the tumor next month and told Daily Mail Online: ‘In addition to improving his vision, airways and ability to eat, we hope the surgery will give the boy back his identity.
Emanuel and his family have flown from their native Cuba to Miami on a medial visa to undergo surgery that will save his life next month.
His condition causes bone to grow where tissue should and in this case, has grown from his upper jaw and consumed his face.
It is a genetic deformation and it is unknown what causes the anomaly.
Emanuel can only breathe through his mouth and is extremely malnourished because the growth makes chewing difficult.
The tumor is so large that it blocks his vision leaving the boy only able to look up and to the side.
In addition to the tumor, his condition also causes fractures and curvature to his arm and leg, leaving him unable to walk.