NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Brooklyn boy received a lifesaving procedure to remove an egg-sized tumor from his jaw. The boy is now making a full recovery after doctors used a bone on his leg to save his life.

Demetri Pristouris, 8, and his family were filled with fear beginning last year, as the winter holidays were approaching. A time of joy and togetherness turned into a disaster when Demetri’s mom, Stacy, noticed her son’s right jaw was swollen. Doctors made the difficult discovery that the disfigurement was a benign tumor the size of an egg, and growing.

“When they came out and told me it was a tumor, it was probably the worst day of my life,” said Stacy.

If left untreated, his jaw would break. Demetri was referred to Lenox Hill Hospital’s oral surgeon Dr. David Hirsch and head and neck surgeon Dr. Brett Miles.

“Imagine a child and their parents hearing at this young age you need half your jaw removed and reconstructed with a bone from your leg,” said Dr. Miles.

In order to successfully perform the surgery, doctors replaced Demetri’s jaw with his fibula — that’s the non-weightbearing bone located between the knee and ankle.

“We bring the bone up from the leg and hook up the blood vessels to the bone in the neck so it will live,” said Dr. Miles.

“Honestly, nothing else matters as long as your children and you are healthy. That’s all that matters,” said Stacy.

“I want to say thank you. We’re very grateful for you guys and we’re lucky we had you,” said Demetri.

Demetri’s making a full recovery. Looking back he finds the surgery, scars and all, pretty cool.

“I’ve already told like a million people,” said Demetri. “Everyday I’m feeling better and I’m very grateful I made it through the surgery.”

Doctors will monitor Demetri to make sure his right and left jaw grow symmetrically and his legs continue to function properly.