Jeffrey Miller

United States

Jeffrey's Story

Jeffrey joined Watsi on April 12th, 2014. 3 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Jeffrey's most recent donation traveled 1,500 miles to support Maria, a baby girl from Guatemala, to fund nutritional supplementation.


Jeffrey has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Jeffrey


Maria was born one month ago weighing 5.4 pounds, and she has not gained any weight since birth. Maria's mother cannot produce breastmilk, so Maria is small and malnourished. She often cries from hunger, and her mother uses the only substance she can afford––warm sugar water––to soothe her. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Maria’s health. Lactation failure can lead to starvation and dehydration. It can also provoke electrolyte imbalances that cause seizures. Brain development is compromised, so Maria is at risk of long-term damage. Fortunately, on November 3, 2016, Maria began a treatment program with Watsi's medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying Maria with formula and her mother with health education, Maria will receive the calories she needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Maria’s mother will teach her how to provide a nutritious, inexpensive diet for her daughter. She will also learn to check for signs of malnutrition and other illness. Maria’s immune system will strengthen, and she will grow up to be a healthy, energetic baby. Maria is the fifth child in her family. Her mother takes of the household, and her brothers look after her. Unfortunately, her family’s limited income puts treatment for Maria outside of their reach. The family needs help to fund this $1,107 intervention. “I am very worried," says Maria's mother, "because when I brought her to the public health center, they told me my daughter was not growing well...We don’t have the resources necessary to be able to buy her milk, and I feel sad because I don’t want to watch my daughter get sick. I want to watch her grow healthy. With your help, I trust that my daughter will get better...I hope that when she is grown she will be a teacher.”

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Walter, who is 10 years old, has been having seizures his whole life. He has also undergone a stroke and severe developmental delays that is likely due to an infection that he had as an infant. His body wastes several hundred calories each day having seizures, which are now much more under control than before, and this problem is complicated by the fact that his parents can't afford to give him the high-calorie and high-protein foods that he needs. Walter lives with his parents and older sister, who is his primary caregiver since his parents both work. His father works half day as a school janitor, and the other half of the day as a day laborer harvesting corn and squash. His mother works as a weaver, making traditional textiles to sell to help cover Walterr's medical costs. Even though they both want the best for their son, they lack the resources to give him the high-calorie food supplements and micronutrients he needs in order to gain weight and overcome his acute malnutrition. The few foods his parents can buy for him are hard for him to chew and swallow, making it impossible for him to gain weight. He has fallen into acute malnutrition, and his body is weak. He is at greater risk of getting sick, and diarrhea, respiratory illness and fevers can be life threatening for him in his weakened state. Growth monitoring, micronutrients and food supplementation will help Walter recover from malnutrition--saving his life now and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. He will gain weight, his immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any life-threatening situations with diarrhea and fevers. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses. His parents will receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Walter the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Walter the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place. His sister shares, "I want for my brother to gain weight. I don't want for my brother to suffer."

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