Updated: February 26, 2021
A Congolese boy who was brought to the United States for a major surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor on his face went into cardiac arrest during the operation on Sunday.
The 8-year-old Matadi was brought to the United States from the Congo by retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo.
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TMZ, which first reported the incident, said Matadi went into cardiac arrest and was immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A.
The cardiac arrest occurred around 6 p.m., more than six hours after the operation began, and it was uncertain whether the surgeons had completed the surgery, which was meant to last six hours.
TMZ said the boy was in stable condition on Tuesday and was slowly recovering.
Matadi’s tumor was life threatening, but he was shunned by his community because of the way his face was affected. The child’s parents were forced to pull him from school and keep him confined to his room because of unrelenting harassment.