Meet Yanci, a two-year-old girl from Guatemala and a patient with our medical partner Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). She is the youngest of three children, and loves to play with her older brothers. "Yanci’s two older brothers are deaf, and now as she is starting to learn how to talk, her parents are seeing similar issues," explains our medical partner, WK. "She is having issues forming words and although she does respond to noises, they have to be louder than what a normal child seems to respond to." $386 funds a multifaceted intervention for Yanci's condition. "She needs testing and speech therapy now to prevent permanent damage to her ability to communicate with others," WK says. " Language therapy will give her tools to communicate, and will provide additional testing to rule out any complications that may need to be addressed." WK continues, "Her family is poor and not only can they not afford the therapy, but they cannot afford the transport to the language center. This therapy will provide Yanci tools to communicate with her family and siblings." Yanci’s mother shares, "I am so worried that she may not be able to hear. I hope this therapy will help her to communicate and help us understand how we can help her more."
Meet Ivelia! At two years old, Ivelia is the second born in her family of five in Guatemala. She enjoys playing with her siblings and often takes care of her youngest brother. Her mother cares for the home and the children while her father works as a day laborer. Recently, Ivelia has begun to become unresponsive to sounds. “She is having issues forming words, and her mother worries that if it continues without some intervention she will not learn how to speak,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “She needs testing and speech therapy now to prevent permanent damage to her ability to communicate with others.” The speech therapy that Ivelia needs costs $386, more than the family can afford while meeting their basic needs. Ivelia will be provided with a case manager to provide her speech therapy, transportation to and from the centre, and the medication to go along with the therapy. “This therapy will provide Ivelia tools to communicate with her family and siblings, as well as the necessary testing to determine if she is having difficulties due to hearing loss, brain damage, or another complication that may be preventing her from developing her speech,” explains WK. “If hearing loss is detected, it will allow us to take the next steps in providing her with additional care.” Ivelia’s mother is dedicated to ensuring her daughter develops to her potential, but does not have the financial means to do so. “Help me help my child,” she shares.
Elvin is a little boy from Guatemala who lives with his parents and his older brother. “His favorite thing to do is to run outside—he’s always racing his older brother,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). Elvin also enjoys eating eggs and beans, playing with his soccer ball, and watching television at the neighbor’s house. Though he turns four next month, Elvin’s vocabulary is limited to only four words: mama, papa, huevo (egg), and agua (water). His developmental disorder frustrates him and makes it difficult for him to communicate with people outside of his immediate family. “He seems to have normal hearing abilities and can understand what others say to him,” shares WK. “He often gets upset when he can’t express himself, or ask for something he needs.” Elvin’s mother worries that he will not be able to go to school and learn as a result of his disability. This could keep her from finding a job to help with the family’s living expenses. “Elvin’s father works as a day laborer, taking odd jobs and often working in places far away from the community where his family lives,” WK explains. His mother takes care of her children, cleans the house, and cooks meals for the family. The family looks forward to purchasing a plot of land to grow vegetables, but they cannot yet afford one. For $386, Elvin will receive speech therapy to help him gain communication skills and independence. He will then be able to enroll in school, thereby giving him a greater chance of being successful later in life. “My dream is that he learns to talk well, that he can study,” says Elvin’s mother, “I hope one day that he can come out ahead and be independent, may God bless him.”
Eswin is a three-year-old boy who lives in Guatemala with his parents. He loves playing with his toy horse, and, "his favorite food is egg and beans," our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), shares. Eswin is currently having trouble meeting some of his developmental milestones. He has not learned how to verbally communicate, and he has trouble walking longer distances. Because they live far from the nearest hospital, running tests and diagnostic work is not an option for Eswin. His father drives a tractor on a farm for work while his mother stays at home. Since they have no land for subsistence farming, they must purchase their food, making it difficult for them to financially support the therapy needed to treat Eswin's developmental delays. "The therapy will allow Eswin to be much more independent," WK reports. He will learn to verbally communicate in speech therapy, and to walk properly. $386 will cover the cost of the therapy needed. Without treatment, it is likely that Eswin's mother would have to stay at home with him. After receiving therapy for his developmental delays, Eswin will be on the right track for school, and his mother will be able to go back to work to help support the family. "I hope my son will learn to run and improve his language so he can explain things and we will be able to understand him," Eswin's mother expresses. "I hope my child will improve and that he will have the chance to live a normal life."
“Zuly absolutely loves beans, and her favorite fruit is red apples,” says our medical partner in Guatemala, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). Zuly is a very playful and curious eight-year-old. She loves to listen to music and dance, and she enjoys playing and running around. “She likes to pretend she is a chef and cook ‘meals’ for her family,” says WK. Zuly has a developmental delay that prevents her from communicating effectively and performing to her full potential in school. She did not talk at all until she was five-and-a-half, and still she only knows a few words. “During the last school year, she had a lot of difficulty learning the letters of the alphabet and talking and did not pass her grade,” states WK. “Zuly is very caring and loves to give hugs, but it takes her a lot of effort to express herself using words.” In order to improve her linguistic skills, Zuly needs speech therapy, which costs $386. This will help her develop the communication skills necessary to pass school and express herself to others. “Being able to express herself will also allow her to make new friends,” says WK, “Something she has had a lot of trouble with in the past.” “We dream that she will talk, use words to express herself and be successful in school,” her parents share. “We are so glad that she has the opportunity to receive therapy.”
Eight-year old Lisbet from Guatemala was one of the first Watsi patients to receive support back in 2012, which helped to get her medication and regular visits with the care team at our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), to treat thyroid disease. As a result, her condition has been managed successfully and she no longer experiences symptoms. However, Lisbet is now in need of treatment for a developmental delay. "Lisbet has struggled with developmental delay for a while--she didn’t learn to walk alone until she was about four. Now she has begun school, though, her family is more concerned and wants her to seek treatment since her developmental delay has caused her to have issues in class," WK explains. Lisbet is having difficulty learning words and and letters in school. It’s difficult for her to keep up with the other kids, even though she’s two years older than most of them. Her mother is worried she’ll have to repeat the first grade again. To avoid that, Lisbet’s family is seeking speech therapy for Lisbet which costs $386. The treatment costs will also cover the transportation to and from therapy. Lisbet will be able to develop the communication skills she needs to pass the first grade and continue to learn how to articulate herself to friends and family. Lisbet already gets along well with her classmates and is capable of playing along in games and group activities. Her parents share, “Our dream is that Lisbet can finish elementary school.”
Meet Angel, a two-year-old boy from rural Guatemala! "Angel lives with his mother and three siblings," our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), shares with us. At nearly three years old, Angel does not talk. He has mental delays that make speaking difficult and his words come out indecipherable. "According to his mother, he can listen, follow directions, and responds to his name," WK tells us, ruling out problems with his hearing as the main issue. "Although he is very interactive and energetic, he gets upset when others do not understand him," WK reports. This, along with his speaking delays, worry his mother. She's nervous that he won't be able to attend school if he does not complete therapy soon. To treat Angel's speaking delays, he will attend speech therapy sessions to develop the communication skills needed to start school. $386 covers the cost of speech therapy for Angel. After treatment, Angel will be more independent and able to express himself to his family. His favorite thing to do is play with his siblings, and after therapy he will be able to communicate more easily with them. "I want others to understand what he's saying, and I want him to better understand what I'm saying to him also," Angel's mother tells us.
Oliver is a 2-year-old boy living in Guatemala with his mother, father, and 2 older brothers. His mother has become increasingly worried because Oliver does not seem to be developing like other boys his age from a cognitive standpoint. According to our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), "this may be related to a severe bilateral ear infection he had when he was 18 months old, when he was prescribed very strong antibiotics after pus and blood came out of his ears." After he recovered, Oliver no longer tried to talk, except to say “mama” and “papa”. The required treatment for Oliver is a comprehensive hearing exam and speech therapy. The extent of his hearing loss will be clarified, and he will learn how to talk, making him more independent and allowing him to attend school when he is older. With the 6 months of therapy he will receive, he will be able to learn more words and learn how to enunciate clearly, helping him to interact with others. Oliver’s father supports their family working in the fields all day while his mother stays at home and cares for Oliver and his 2 older brothers. Although they work very hard, Oliver's parents are not able to afford the cost of his treatment, which is $386. Oliver's mother said, “I am scared because we cannot afford an auditory exam, and it’s very expensive. We are so glad our son is getting the support he needs. I hope that he grows and one day he will be able to talk.”
"I am excited for my little girl to learn how to walk," Rachel's mother shares. "That is my dream." 17-month-old Rachel has been coming to our clinic since she was just two months old. She had to have surgery when she was just a newborn for a problem with her pancreas, but has not had any complications since then. Although she has been growing normally, her motor development has been slow. She still cannot sit on her own, cannot crawl, or walk - developmental milestones that children normally reach by age one. Rachel is the second daughter in her family. Her family lives in Guatemala and has few resources - her mother works every day to cook, clean, and take care of her children. She has been unable to get a job because of Rachel's inability to move on her own, and has to carry her around all day on her back in order to be able to cook, clean, and do errands. Her father does not have a steady income and, instead, works odd jobs as a driver and an assistant to a bricklayer. Rachel's family often has trouble affording basics such as food and wood to boil water, so sending their daughter to physical therapy is a luxury they cannot afford. Treatment will give Rachel weekly physical therapy sessions, as well as transportation for her and her mother to the sessions. She will get individualized care that will develop her motor skills, helping her learn how to sit, crawl, and walk on her own. This will allow both Rachel and her mother to be more independent, making it possible for Rachel to live a healthy life, and for her mother to be able to work and help out her family economically.
Wilson lives with his family in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural Kaqchikel Maya community in Guatemala. He likes to play with his toy cars and go to church with his family on Sundays. He loves to eat chicken, eggs, and bread. His father works on a farm, where he cultivates corn and beans. Three days after Wilson's birth, he started to have seizures and a high fever. He had to be hospitalized, and doctors said that it caused permanent brain damage. He no longer has seizures, but he has had trouble reaching developmental milestones. He cannot walk or talk, but he can understand words and communicates with hand gestures to say 'water', 'food', 'bread', and 'bye'. With $386, Wilson can receive speech and physical therapy to further his developmental progress. This treatment will help Wilson gain increased movement in his limbs, making everyday activities easier. He will become more independent, lessening the burden on his family to assist him with everything and constantly watch over him. Not only will Wilson's quality of life improve, but his family will be able to see him improve as well. "The dream we have is that our son has some more movement in his body," his parents shared. "We hope that at least he can be able to take a couple steps, be able to move, and do necessary tasks."
19-month-old Maria lives with her five-year-old brother and mother in a rented room in Guatemala. Maria's mother used to work selling tea in the market, but due to Maria's special needs, she has had to quit and is dependent on her in-laws for money and for the small room in which they live. Maria's mother says that Maria's favorite things are to listen to classical music and to watch the world around her. Maria previously received treatment for acute malnutrition thanks to Watsi donors. She has recovered well, and is nearing a normal weight and height for her age. Now that she has grown bigger and stronger, and her life is no longer in danger, she is in need of physical and speech therapy to catch up on developmental milestones that she has missed out on because of poor nutrition and because of microcephalus that she was born with. Microcephalus is a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Despite being over a year and a half old, she cannot sit up on her own - a developmental milestone that most healthy children reach by six months of age. She has not begun to speak yet, either, and is in need of special therapy to help her develop mentally and gain motor skills. This treatment, which costs $452, will give Maria intensive speech and physical therapy for six months, helping her to catch up with developmental milestones, and helping her become more independent. This treatment will help Maria develop the strength to sit up on her own, turn over, and crawl, and help her learn to communicate.
Lidia is a 29-year-old woman from Guatemala. She has a rare autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis that attacks the muscles of the body. For months, she was bedridden and unable to swallow. Then, Watsi donors funded [medications](https://watsi.org/profile/0544c4d1f227-lidia) to treat her illness. She regained the ability to walk short distances, cook, and spend time with her children. Lidia still grows tired easily. She has difficulty weaving, making tortillas, or standing for long periods of time. She wants to regain her leg strength to be able to work and provide for her family. Fortunately, she began physical therapy on December 16. Lidia is a single mother of three children. She lives in a one-room wooden house with a dirt floor and tin roof. Her father makes charcoal to support the family, but his income is small. Her children have been unable to attend school for the past year because the family cannot afford to pay for their education. They need help to fund this $856 therapy. Lidia will strengthen her legs and regain her ability to walk long distances. She will be able to work again, allowing her to send her children to school. "Whenever I can walk again, I am going to cry," says Lidia. "I am going to dance and jump of happiness."