Teen dies after lifelong battle with genetic disorder

Tito Myers, a Victoria 17-year-old who has battled a rare genetic disease all his life, died Friday in a California hospital of complications after surgery, a family member said.

Myers, who was born with only a trace of a pulmonary artery, survived five surgeries before his fifth birthday to increase blood flow from his heart to his lungs. He was going to be a senior at Victoria East High School.

On June 5, Dr. Frank Hanley, the thoracic and cardiac surgeon who performed Tito's earlier surgeries, replaced the cadaver pulmonary artery that had served Tito for 12 years with a synthetic version.

The procedure was successful, but complications plagued Tito's body after the surgery. Funeral arrangements are pending.