African boy, eight, who was flown to the US by NBA star Dikembe Mutombo to have large tumor removed from his face, goes into cardiac arrest during hours-long surgery and is now recovering in intensive care

  • Retired 7ft 2 centre, Dikembe Mutombo, 52,  flew Matadi to the US last week 
  • The eight-year-old is one of the patients at his hospital in the Congo
  • Six hours into his surgery on Monday, the child’s heart stopped on the operating table
  • He was immediately taken into the intensive care unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A.
  • Matadi is now in a stable condition but it is not yet known if he will have to go back  into surgery  

Jennifer Smith

and
Charlie Moore For Dailymail.com

The eight-year-old boy who was flown to the US by NBA star Dikembe Mutombo from his native Congo to have a large tumor removed from his face went into cardiac arrest during the complicated procedure on Monday and is now in intensive care. 

Matadi, the child, is now in a stable condition at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A. 

Six hours into the surgery on Monday, he went into cardiac arrest and had to be taken out of the operating room, according to TMZ. 

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Matadi, the eight-year-old boy who arrived in L.A. from the Congo last week to have his tumor removed, went into cardiac arrest at the end of the procedure and was taken immediately to intensive care where he remains in a stable condition 

Matadi, the eight-year-old boy who arrived in L.A. from the Congo last week to have his tumor removed, went into cardiac arrest at the end of the procedure and was taken immediately to intensive care where he remains in a stable condition 

Matadi, the eight-year-old boy who arrived in L.A. from the Congo last week to have his tumor removed, went into cardiac arrest at the end of the procedure and was taken immediately to intensive care where he remains in a stable condition 

Matadi was flown to the US with a minder last week from his home in the Congo. Dikembe said that he was being kept in his bedroom in his house by his mother who wanted to protect him from other children bullying him over his appearance 

Matadi was flown to the US with a minder last week from his home in the Congo. Dikembe said that he was being kept in his bedroom in his house by his mother who wanted to protect him from other children bullying him over his appearance 

Matadi was flown to the US with a minder last week from his home in the Congo. Dikembe said that he was being kept in his bedroom in his house by his mother who wanted to protect him from other children bullying him over his appearance 

It was towards the end of the surgery and it is not yet known whether doctors were able to remove the entire tumor from his face. 

DailyMail.com has contacted the Mutombo’s charity, which arranged the boy’s trip, for more information. 

The basketball star, who had asked fans for well wishes on Instagram on Sunday, has not said anything of the complication on social media.  

Mutombo has set up a hospital in the Congo where he hails from a devout Christian community. 

Matadi was being bullied and ostracized in his home because of the tumor. 

‘I was touched by what he’s going through as a young boy who’s eight years old. Not going to school.’ 

‘The way he’s been pushed away by the society. 

‘His mom has to keep him in the bedroom every day because people are talking bad about him,’ the basketball star said last week. 

One of the patients, eight-year-old Matadi, was being bullied and ostracized so Mutombo decided to pay for him to be treated in the US where he says care is 'a thousand' times better.

One of the patients, eight-year-old Matadi, was being bullied and ostracized so Mutombo decided to pay for him to be treated in the US where he says care is 'a thousand' times better.

One of the patients, eight-year-old Matadi, was being bullied and ostracized so Mutombo decided to pay for him to be treated in the US where he says care is ‘a thousand’ times better.

When Matadi arrived at the airport on Wednesday, Dikembe spoke to him gently in his native tongue and gave him a handful of balloons

When Matadi arrived at the airport on Wednesday, Dikembe spoke to him gently in his native tongue and gave him a handful of balloons

When Matadi arrived at the airport on Wednesday, Dikembe spoke to him gently in his native tongue and gave him a handful of balloons

When Matadi arrived at the airport on Wednesday, Dikembe spoke to him gently in his native tongue and gave him a handful of balloons

When Matadi arrived at the airport on Wednesday, Dikembe spoke to him gently in his native tongue and gave him a handful of balloons 

The boy will be treated by Dr Osborne in Beverly Hills and then Mutombo will fly him back to the Congo

The boy will be treated by Dr Osborne in Beverly Hills and then Mutombo will fly him back to the Congo

The boy will be treated by Dr Osborne in Beverly Hills and then Mutombo will fly him back to the Congo

The plan is for Matadi to be flown back to the Congo once the procedure and his after care is complete.  

Mutombo, a shot-blocking Congolese centre whose legendary finger-wagging motion became one of the most recognized gestures in the game, was a four-times NBA Defensive Player of the Year and led the league in blocked shots for five straight seasons.

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks during 18 seasons spent mostly with Denver, Atlanta and Houston. 

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks during 18 seasons spent mostly with Denver, Atlanta and Houston

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks during 18 seasons spent mostly with Denver, Atlanta and Houston

Mutombo played in the NBA from 1991 until 2009, recording 11,729 points, 12,359 rebounds, and 3,289 blocks during 18 seasons spent mostly with Denver, Atlanta and Houston

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