The eight-year-old Congolese boy, who helped retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo travel to the US to get a tumor on his face, died Friday, Mutombo announced on Instagram.
Sela Petit and his father went to the United States earlier this month and arranged for doctors to remove a large tumor from the left side of the face. He died of a rare genetic reaction to anesthesia during surgery.
"Despite the careful efforts of his medical advisors, Matadi did not recover and he died last night," Mutombo said in his post. "We are devastated by the loss of Matadi, and our hearts go to his father, his mother and the rest of his family, as well as all his old and new friends. We are comforted by the knowledge that a whole "village" Matadi has adopted and joined together to offer him a treatment that was unavailable in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that would have given him the opportunity to have a new and different life , "
Mutombo first met Matadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo a few months ago at Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital, which he helped set up and said he was touched by his story.
Mutombo, who played in the NBA from 1991 to 2009, was born Kinshasa, Congo, and in 1997 founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to "promote the health, education and qualification of life 19659002 "[Matadi] was a pioneer, and his memory will inspire us to develop efforts and partnerships to improve the lives of the children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo "Mutombo said in the statement.
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