MIAMI (CBS4) – A special fund has been set up for a Colombian teen being treated in Miami to help his family pay for several operations which are needed to save his life.
Michael Giovanny Herreño Sarmiento, 17, was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the face. AVM is caused by a deficiency in the cardiovascular system in which there is a tangling of abnormally connected arteries and veins.READ MORE: Living Large: 1000 Museum Boasts Penthouse With South Florida's Only Helipad
During the last three years, a mass that began on Michael’s nose and forehead at the age of three has tripled in size and he’s now experiencing respiratory obstruction.
“This is not a one procedure. It will take multiple surgeries and times in the operating room,” Dr Seth Thaller from the University of Miami said.
The mass is also affecting his sight. Thaller said there are some risks to the surgeries Michael will need.READ MORE: 'To Police Well, You Have To Be Well Yourself:' Program Addresses Officer Mental Health
“He could bleed. He could go blind from what we are going to do,” Thaller said.
He and his family flew to Miami from their native Colombia to get the specialized surgery.
“He’s very happy that he found some hope here after meeting us,” said Thaller.
In order to pay for his treatment, the International Kids Fund (IKF) Wonderfund, a program of the Jackson Memorial Foundation, will try to raise the $80,000 needed for his medical expenses through donations from the community.MORE NEWS: Police: Glades Middle School Teacher Arrested After Pursuing Romantic Relationship With Former Student
When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Michael said a great soccer player. If you want to make his dreams come true and contribute to his medical expenses, go to www.wonderfund.org.