UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: Lucas is out of surgery after getting his tumor removed Tuesday, and his mom tells KTVB that his doctor said the surgery "went better than he could have dreamed."
Tuesday has been a long time coming for a Nampa man living with a large and painful tumor on the right side of his face.
Lucas McCulley, 22, is undergoing major surgery to hopefully get it removed once and for all.
“Yeah I'm really nervous, I'm petrified of it but it’s something I got to do. But I'm not going to say that it doesn't scare me and try to act tough because it does scare the crap out of me knowing what happened before and what could happen,” said McCulley back in August.
That was when he first learned he would be receiving this life-changing surgery for free after appearing on the nationally syndicated show “The Doctors.”
Now, that day is finally here.
Lucas and his mother Sheri were flown to New York City Saturday and Lucas went in for his operation at 11 a.m. Tuesday at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
“I know he didn't sleep very well because I didn't either, and he was up every time I woke up last night but he was very quiet and reserved. He's very optimistic, I think,” said Sheri McCulley.
Optimistic but cautious.
“I don't think he wants to get his hopes up too high because of all his prior surgeries that we haven't had much success and I'm sure he would be happy if it was just a little bit of an improvement,” said Sheri McCulley.
McCulley's specialist, Dr. Levitin, says surgery time depends on how much of the tumor is sitting on top of the nerve.
The more on top, the better because Dr. Levitin says that way there will be a better chance of it being more completely removed.
“I'm excited, I think it’s going to work, I think he is going to have an excellent outcome on this, the doctor is amazing, he really fills him up with hope,” said Sheri McCulley.
If everything goes as planned, Lucas is expected to be discharged from the hospital Tuesday night and sent home Saturday, but he will have to return for some post operations.
“They said he would probably be coming back in February or March to do like a facelift because he will have extra skin from the mass being removed and then they will adjust the orbit socket of the eye so it’s more symmetrical with the other side of the face,” said Sheri McCulley.
Sheri added that her son is happy to see that he has become an inspiration to others.