A 9-year-old boy from Mexico has been whisked away from one of the world’s worst cities covertly by U.S. Feds, in order to undergo treatment for a massive tumor that could threaten his life.
The Tennessean reports that the boy, who officials have only called “Jose,” in order to protect the family, has had the tumor on his shoulder and neck since birth, and it is so large now that it affects his eyesight and potentially move into his heart.
The family lives in a gang-infested neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez, and because they do not have money for medical care, they tried to seek treatment in both Juarez and El Paso, but did not get any help removing the tumor from their son.
It wasn’t until church members from the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, N.M. saw the boy while they were doing missionary work that he got help. The church members felt compelled to help him, according to Si Budagher, pastor of the church. Budagher recalled, “He just came up to us and offered to carry groceries. The Lord put him in front of us.”
According to The Huffington Post, the family was issued a 45-day humanitarian visa, so that they could seek medical treatment in New Mexico. While it is unclear what procedures the 9-year-old will have to undergo in order to remove the tumor, or if he will have to return to the U.S. for treatment, Jose stated he is most excited to play soccer and ride a bike after the tumor is removed.
The Associated Press reports that when he was asked Friday about his ride in the armored vehicle, Jose’s eyes widened, he covered his face with his hands, and said, “I like it here.” The church has set up a fund for private donations, and is also helping with the cost of Jose’s family’s stay in the U.S. Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico, stated:
“We all trying to stay positive and believe that there is something we can do for this boy and his family.”