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Success! Heydy from Guatemala raised $535 to treat acute malnutrition.

  • $535 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Heydy's treatment was fully funded on November 27, 2015.

Photo of Heydy post-operation

February 8, 2016

Heydy received treatment for acute malnutrition.

“Since beginning treatment, Heydy’s health has been improving gradually. Although she has not gained much weight or gotten much taller, she has not lost weight, which is a good sign,” reports her doctor at Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “Her mom is content with the changes she sees in her child— she gets sick less often, and has advanced a lot in her development.”

“The nutritional supplements allow Heydy to eat eggs and beans every day— which she was not receiving before. Heydy has had some trouble with getting diarrhea and fevers frequently, so our medical team is responding quickly and will get Heydy back on the road to recovery,” continues WK. “With continued treatment, she is on track to reach a healthy height, and weight, and have a strengthened immune system.”

“Thanks to the help we have gotten, our little girl is improving a lot,” shares Heydy’s mother.

"Since beginning treatment, Heydy’s health has been improving gradually. Although she has not gained much weight or gotten much taller, she ...

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November 23, 2015

“Heydy likes to play and imitate her mother’s singing voice,” our medical partner, Wuku’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “She also likes to look at picture books.” At 21 months old, Heydy is the youngest of her three siblings. Her parents support the family through farm labor and weaving.

Heydy often has night sweats and suffers from allergies, her mother explains. Her height and weight are far below the average for her age, indicating acute malnutrition. The family has a limited ability to afford healthy, nutritious meals and the calories Heydy does absorb are being lost as a result of her diarrhea.

Malnutrition has serious consequences for children like Heydy in Guatemala. Without treatment, she will continue to miss major mental and physical developmental milestones that are important for her to reach her potential. Her immune system will suffer, exposing her to chronic illness, and her energy and concentration levels will suffer. To get her health back on track, Heydy needs intervention by doctors and nutritionists.

WK is confident in the difference this treatment will make on Heydy’s health. “She will receive micronutrient and food supplementation as well as medication to treat her fever and the gastrointestinal infection causing her diarrhea. This will help her to absorb the calories she consumes and increase her appetite,” they explain. “We believe this treatment will help her to gain both weight and height, strengthen her immune system, and help her get back on track to develop her full potential.”

In addition to Heydy’s treatment, her mother will receive education nutritional classes to give her the tools to support the family’s nutritional health in the long-term.

For $535 Heydy will receive the care she needs. These funds will cover the costs for the family to travel to the treatment center, afford the medicines and nutritional supplements as well as the nutritional education.

Her mother is grateful for the opportunity to have Heydy treated. “This is going to help us because buying what Heydy needs is very difficult,” she shares. “I’m so happy to have her entered in this program.”

“Heydy likes to play and imitate her mother’s singing voice,” our medical partner, Wuku’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “She also likes to look at pi...

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Heydy's Timeline

  • November 23, 2015

    Heydy was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 25, 2015

    Heydy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 27, 2015

    Heydy's treatment was fully funded.

  • November 30, 2015

    Heydy received treatment at Clinic Tecpán in Guatemala. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • February 8, 2016

    Heydy's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Children generally face stunted physical growth, delayed mental and motor development, low appetite, and frequent illness. Malnourished children have weakened immune systems that put them at risk of diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illnesses. This treatment treats growth failure in small children usually under 2 years of age. The most common form of growth failure in children in Guatemala is called stunting. This is a form of malnutrition where weight is relatively normal but height is severely reduced.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Stunting has major effects on the developing brain. Stunted children have low IQ and they don’t make major developmental milestones. These effects persist into adulthood, where they impact schooling and economic potential. Furthermore, stunting contributes to the development of serious adult illness like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Children enrolled in our recuperative nutrition program receive about 1-4 months of intensive intervention, depending on the severity of the case. All of this care is delivered in the home in a personalized fashion. Most require a basic laboratory evaluation to look for thyroid disease, anemia, and intestinal infections. Acute infections are rapidly treated with antibiotics. Then a specialized case manager and nutritionist make weekly or every other week educational and health monitoring visits to the home. An assessment of food insecurity is conducted using standardized instruments and food is often provided to help bolster acute recovery. Micronutrient supplementation is provided.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves brains. Appetite and growth and developmental milestones recover, and height begins to rise once again. The immediate outcome is improved overall child health, including reduced vulnerability to severe infections. The long term outlook is improved cognitive potential, school completion, and economic prospects. Nearly 100% of children will experience improve appetite, energy, and development. At least 75% of children will have noticeable improvement in growth parameters. The effects of the intervention extend to other children in the home; since the approach is highly educational, parents learn how to care for other children and prevent this from occurring subsequently.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, and no risks for treatment exists.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Treatment for malnutrition is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. Populations are rural and don’t have access to intensive nutritional intervention and education. Public sector approaches are too low intensity to make a difference for these children.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives to our program. Many organizations and governmental entities provide basic preventative care, but once a child is already malnourished these approaches are no longer effective. Most children fail prevention and therefore need our help.

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Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.