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Success! Kevin from Guatemala raised $512 to treat his malnutrition.

Kevin
100%
  • $512 raised, $0 to go
$512
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Kevin's treatment was fully funded on October 19, 2016.

Photo of Kevin post-operation

January 12, 2017

Kevin received successful malnutrition treatment.

Kevin is growing taller, gaining weight, and getting stronger. His mother says that the nutrition classes she has been attending have been particularly helpful in teaching her to feed him healthy food.

“The help you all are providing is greatly benefiting Kevin,” says his mother.

Kevin is growing taller, gaining weight, and getting stronger. His mother says that the nutrition classes she has been attending have been p...

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August 18, 2016

“We hope that our son can study and one day become a teacher,” shares the mother of 6-month-old Kevin.

Kevin lives with his older brother and parents in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His mother works at home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Kevin and his brother. His father works as an assistant bricklayer, building houses and churches in nearby communities. Although Kevin’s parents want the best for their son, they do not have the resources to feed him even one vegetable, piece of fruit, or egg—the minimum that he needs to be able to overcome malnutrition.

Kevin’s mother noticed that her son is not growing well and is underweight, but did not realize that she was supposed to start feeding her son complementary foods. Subsequently, his current diet lacks protein, calories, and nutrients. If he does not receive treatment, Kevin could face the consequences of malnutrition for the rest of his life—he could have a low IQ, trouble focusing in school, and a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as an adult. All these consequences make it less likely he will have a well-paying job as an adult, meaning the cycle of poverty and malnutrition would continue if he decides to have kids.

Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Kevin recover from malnutrition. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to gain motor skills and learn new words instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.

In addition to Kevin’s treatment, his mother will receive the support she need to feel empowered to give Kevin the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily, even with limited resources. Intervention now will give Kevin the chance to live a healthy and productive life and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.

“We hope that our son can study and one day become a teacher,” shares the mother of 6-month-old Kevin. Kevin lives with his older brother...

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Kevin's Timeline

  • August 18, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kevin was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • August 18, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Kevin received treatment at Clinic Panajachel. 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 11, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kevin's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 19, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Kevin's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 12, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Kevin's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Treatment
Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $512 for Kevin's treatment
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$94
Medication
$152
Supplies
$0
Travel
$87
Other
$179
  • 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.