A family in Zimbabwe is desperately seeking help for their 4-year-old son who has a mango-sized tumor on his face that they say can kill him at any moment. Simbarashe Dande, who neighbors believe is cursed and have kept him isolated from other children, is in constant pain and has difficulty breathing and eating.
“The tumor started to grow from the nose from a year and a half ago,” Makazvita Dande, the boy’s aunt, told Caters News Agency. “It started as a small wart on the nose but it’s just grown and grown. It totally dominates his face and it’s very upsetting to see. He eats from a small gap in the left-hand side of his mouth but can only eat fluids, so he’s started to lose weight.”
Dande said that the family has no access to health care and that local healers have attempted to treat him with herbs and oils.
“We’ve had no help,” Thompson Musiiwa, the boy’s father, told the news outlet. “The doctors have just left him to die.”
Dande said that they use pain medication when it is available, but that they are currently raising money in hopes of taking him to South Africa where a doctor can remove the tumor.
“The other villagers think that someone put an evil spirit on him and that he’s the victim of witchcraft,” Dande told Caters News Agency.
As a result, she said the boy has become “very, very isolated.”
“Some people feel sorry for him but lots of people are afraid and think that the tumor could infect them,” she said.