For years, state media in Vietnam have followed Nguyen Duy Hai, a 31-year-old man who has suffered since childhood from a steadily-growing leg tumor that recently weighed in at 200 pounds.
According to TalkVietnam, surgeons at the France-Vietnam (FV) hospital in Ho Chi Minh City successfully removed Hai's tumor in a 10-hour long operation which was broadcast live on Vietnamese television.
Details are still emerging about the man's condition following the surgery, which doctors described as a high-risk procedure.
"This is a huge procedure with many risks, including the risk of death during surgery or post-operative care," hospital representatives told Fox News.
The procedure was done under lead surgeon McKay McKinnon, an American physician who has performed similarly high-risk tumor removals in the past. McKinnon agreed to waive his fee for the operation, which the hospital estimates will cost around $12,000. Luckily, generous donors have stepped up to cover the remaining cost of the surgery, Fox News reports.
Hai's tumor began growing when he was 4 years old and has been linked to a rare genetic mutation, the Herald Sun reported.
In 1997, doctors amputated his leg at the knee in the hopes the tumor would stop growing. But it continued to grow, and the cost of the amputation drained Hai's family of the funds needed for additional surgery.
"I can't do anything, I can only sit and lie down," Hai told the Herald Sun last year from his home in the town of Da Lat in the country's Central Highlands, where he is cared for around the clock by his 61-year-old mother.
It remains to be seen whether Thursday's surgery will give Hai the independence for which he's been hoping, and he likely faces a long road of recovery ahead.
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