This deformed man whose rare tumour left one side of his face and body appearing like it was melted has undergone surgery carried out by a top doctor to help him live a more normal life.
Ali Amnad Rifi, 30, from a village in Morocco, suffers with severe neurofibromatosis which has seriously affected his body and everyday life.
However, coming from a poor family he had no chance of paying the huge medical bills needed to help him.
That was until he got an offer of help from top surgeon Doctor Pedro Cavadas who arranged to bring him to the city of Valencia in the eastern Spanish region of the same name a year ago.
The doctor said that by then the tumour weighed 13 kilogrammes (29 lbs) and the operation to remove it was carried out at the Vithas October 9 Hospital by Dr. Cavadas.
The surgeon has performed a number of high-profile operations which made him a household name in Spain, including the transplant of two hands to a female patient.
The doctor agreed to get involved after being contacted by a volunteer of the ADRA Foundation who was told about the Moroccan man’s health problems.
She looked into the case and found him on the streets of Tangier and after talking to him, realised he needed urgent humanitarian help.
In a statement by ADRA obtained by Newsflash, they confirmed that he had no chance of getting treatment in Morocco.
Ali was diagnosed as suffering from a neurofibromatosis type 1 that had caused the tumour to grow to 13 kilogrammes in weight. The surgery was already complicated by the tumour’s large size, but also by the fact it was putting a large strain on his heart and lung capacity.
Dr. Cavadas said in a press statement: “Ali was suffering from the biggest neurofibromatosis we have ever seen. The difficult part was organising the surgery in stages, because if you remove too much at any one time the patient could bleed to death.
“That was why it’s essential to carry it out in stages so we can also carefully control the anaesthesia and periods in between.”
In total, doctors carried out three surgeries during the course of the last year to cure the problem that he has suffered with for most of his life.
The two first surgeries took place between October and December 2019 and the last one was schedule for 24th April 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was able to return to Valencia in October to have the last surgery.
The surgeon added: “We have managed the best possible result, taking into account the complexity of the process.
“Now he is a patient with a normal life, who feels like a rock star and even has a couple of girlfriends on the back of his new-found fame.”
According to the doctor, the tumour could grow again “as he is still young” and it is a genetic disorder that boosts the development of tumours in the body, but “it will not be so extreme as before and he can be operated again more easily next time.”
Angel Ayuso, director of the Vithas Foundation, said in the press statement: “As soon as we were told about the case we decided to do all the paperwork needed to make Ali Amnad Rifi receive the best treatment possible with the maximum guarantees.”
The doctor said there were still some signs of the tumour on his face, but it was difficult to remove this as it could cause facial paralysis.
For his part, Ali said at the press conference afterwards: “I am very happy, I am very lucky to have had the treatment with all of the various organisations and individuals involved. They have made my life considerably better than it was in the past.”
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