|11-year old Jose...Photo:AFP|
An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had been suffering from a massive tumour and drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in New Mexico had the growth removed after a long surgery, ABC reports quoting the church.
In a statement, Kristean Alcocer of the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho said Jose Antonio Ramirez Serrano underwent surgery Monday at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital to remove the tumor from his neck, shoulder and torso area.
The surgery lasted a more than 12 hours and involved 25 medical professionals, Alcocer said.
"The road to recovery will be long, and many challenges still lie ahead for this young boy," said Alcocer, who is housing Jose while he receives treatment.
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 a jump in donations to help him raise money for the surgeries.
Jose was diagnosed with venous lymphangioma on his shoulder, and he was told by doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital that he had to undergo a series of surgeries and treatments to remove the huge fluid build-up.
Jose's parents have said the tumour on his shoulder and neck grew so large that it affected his eyesight. They said they were afraid it might move into his heart. With no money for medical care, the family sought treatment in Juarez and El Paso, but they did not receive any help removing the tumour, which has afflicted Jose since birth.
For the past two years, the church has raised money for the boy.