to help us reach our 25,000th patient 💙
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Andrea from Guatemala raised $512 to treat her malnutrition.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Andrea's treatment was fully funded on October 15, 2016.

Photo of Andrea post-operation

February 13, 2017

Andrea received successful malnutrition treatment.

While gaining weight and getting taller has been difficult for Andrea, she has managed to grow over one inch in the last two months of treatment. Her family has implemented lessons from nutrition classes that will help Andrea continue to grow in the future. With treatment and her family’s continued support, Andrea will continue to grow stronger and healthier.

Andrea’s mother says, “I see the difference in my daughter’s growth.”

While gaining weight and getting taller has been difficult for Andrea, she has managed to grow over one inch in the last two months of treat...

Read more
August 4, 2016

“We dream that our daughter can gain the necessary weight and be a good student,” shares 8-month-old Andrea’s mother.

Andrea is the first child in her family. She lives in Guatemala with her parents, in a one-room house made of wood with a tin roof. Her father is a bricklayer and her mother works at home - taking care of Andrea, cooking, and cleaning.

Andrea is almost three times below a healthy size for her age because she has not been receiving adequate protein, macronutrients, or calories in order to grow. Her mother thought that Andrea was growing normally, until one of our nutrition technicians visited her home and showed her how much smaller her daughter is than healthy children. Even though Andrea’s parents work hard, they do not have the money to buy their daughter even one piece of fruit, vegetable, or egg per day - the minimum she needs to get well.

Not only is Andrea small due to her malnutrition, her immune system has also been weakened due to her poor diet, making her more prone to getting fevers, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, causing her to lose even more weight, and slowing her mental and physical development. In the long term, she is likely to have a low IQ and be at greater risk for chronic disease if she does not receive treatment.

Although Andrea has a serious illness, treatment for malnutrition is simple. Her parents will receive in-home motivational nutrition classes to teach them about what diet Andrea needs to be healthy. She will be a part of Wuqu’ Kawoq’s growth monitoring program, and will receive food supplements and micronutrients to improve her diet. This treatment, which costs $512, will give Andrea the chance to be a healthy baby, helping her grow, strengthen her immune system, and putting her on track to live a healthy and full life.

"We dream that our daughter can gain the necessary weight and be a good student," shares 8-month-old Andrea's mother. Andrea is the first...

Read more

Andrea's Timeline

  • August 4, 2016

    Andrea was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 17, 2016

    Andrea received treatment at Clinic Panajachel 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.

  • September 9, 2016

    Andrea's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 15, 2016

    Andrea's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 13, 2017

    Andrea's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $512 for Andrea's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.