LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Congolese boy who traveled to Los Angeles to undergo surgery to remove a large tumor on his face has died after having an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which sponsored 8-year-old Matadi Sela Petit's travels and medical procedures, announced his death Saturday.
The foundation headed by the former NBA star said that during the delicate surgery on Dec. 16, the boy suffered a rare genetic reaction to anesthesia. He did not recover and died Friday night.
Matadi was born with a cleft lip and a tumor on one side of his cheeks that grew into the size of a balloon. The foundation said it hoped the surgery would give Matadi the opportunity to have a different life and was "devastated" by his death.