The child Dikembe Mutombo brought to the United States for a surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor on his face, went into cardiac arrest during the operation ... TMZ has learned.
Sources familiar with the surgery tell us, at around 6 PM Sunday, more than 6 hours into the operation, 8-year-old Matadi went into cardiac arrest and was immediately taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. We're told he's now in stable condition and is slowly recovering.
The emergency came toward the end of the surgery, which began at 11:30 AM.
We do not know if the surgeons had completed the surgery, but if it went according to schedule it should have been wrapping up.
Matadi and his family were staying at the Ronald McDonald house in Los Angeles leading up to Sunday's procedure. Mutombo, who met the little boy during a visit to the Congo, greeted the boy and his family when they landed Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Matadi's tumor was life-threatening. He was also shunned by his community. The child's parents were forced to pull him from school and keep him confined to his room because of unrelenting harassment.