Venous Malformation

Zoubair's Story

For 18 years Zoubair Lahdodi lived with a severe growth engulfing the left side of his face. His lips and tongue were forced outwards, as the blood vessels beneath his skin became swollen and expanded. As the teenager grew, so too did the mass on his face.

Zoubair's father, Abderrahmane, a taxi driver, was unable to pay for his son to fly to America for the life-saving surgery. So, the Waner Foundation, a charity which helps children in need of life-changing surgeries, brought Zoubair to New York to be treated by vascular plastic surgeon, Dr Milton Waner and his team at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.  The teenager was so popular for his amazing stunt bike tricks on the streets of Casablanca, that he earned the nickname Stunteur Zoubair.

But, the 18-year-old had no idea of how dangerous it could be if he fell from his bike, unaware the facial growth he had lived with since he was a small boy was a 'timebomb'.

Zoubair was diagnosed with a venous malformation - a type of vascular abnormality affecting the veins in his face.

Any impact to the face could have ruptured the swollen blood vessels, resulting in severe, potentially fatal bleeding.

Having endured 18 years of living with his condition, being stared at and labelled different, Zoubair finally got the treatment he needed after travelling more than 3,500 miles from his home in Morocco to New York.

Speaking after the first two operations, Zoubhair said: 'Some people laugh at me but they shouldn't see my deformity, they should see what's in my head.'

His mother, Aicha, said: 'I wish I could see him in a better situation. This is what I wish from God.

'When he sees his face in the mirror he says, "mama, if only it was less swollen I wouldn't have a problem".'

Those first two operations saw surgeons remove part of the teenager's lower lip and tongue.

Speaking after the first stage of surgeries, Dr Waner, said: 'He has a particularly severe venous malformation and unfortunately his malformation is not compatible with a normal lifespan.

'When I saw the video of him stunt cycling, I was absolutely horrified because any bump could result in a terminal haemorrhage.

'He could be very quickly overwhelmed and drown in his own blood.

'He has a high risk for bleeding, he has a high risk for spontaneous haemorrhage without me even touching him, so Zoubair is, I have to say, a walking time bomb, so we really have to get on and do his treatment.'

Before the surgeries, Zoubair struggled with eating, sleeping, speaking and even breathing. But now, after treatment, experts hope he will be able to live a normal life. During the first procedure, the teenager lost a dangerous amount of blood after a blood vessel burst - leaving him in intensive care for 10 days. But despite the risks, Zoubair is grateful for the treatment he has received in America.

He said: 'I never expected this. It's overwhelming. I thank the people who brought me here.'

But more than anything, Zoubair is looking forward to getting back home and back on his beloved stunt bike.

He said 'All of my friends, my family and myself will be happy when I'm back.'

--Daily Mail UK


First Noticed


# of Treatments



Before Photos

zoubair as a kid
zoubair in hospital
doctors and zoubair

After Photos


"'I never expected this. It's overwhelming. I thank the people who brought me here. All of my friends, my family and myself will be happy when I'm back."

— Zoubair