Dikembe Mutombo flew a young boy to the United States with hopes to remove his face tumor. Matada Sela Petit was shunned from his society and pulled from school because of his condition, and the NBA star wanted to help him out. But sadly the 8-year-old passed away after he suffered a “rare and unpredictable genetic reaction to anesthesia” amid surgery.
He flew from the Democratic Republic of Congo went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation released a statement saying, “We are devastated by the loss of Matadi and our heart goes out to his father, his mother and the rest of his family, and all his old and new friends.”
TMZ reported that Matadi went into cardiac arrest during the surgery and was transferred to the ICU. The operation to remove the face tumor wasn’t completed because of his reaction to the anesthesia.
Despite the efforts of the medical staff, he was unable to recover.
Dr. Ryan Osborne from Cedars-Sinai volunteered to lead Matadi’s operation after being inspired by the work of the Mutombo Foundation. His foundation says Matadi was “was a pioneer, and his memory will inspire us to continue to develop efforts and partnerships to improve the lives of the children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”