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Success! Luis from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment and formula.

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

Photo of Luis post-operation

January 9, 2017

Luis received successful malnutrition treatment.

Luis has been growing bigger and taller since he began treatment. His mother is working hard to apply what she is learning in the nutrition education classes to her son’s diet. She is making sure he is getting the fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods he needs to grow and develop. He has not been getting sick as often as before.

“The food supplements have been such a big help for the family, because now we can buy things like vegetables for my son,” says Luis’s mother. “I am appreciative of the education that I have received, because this was my first child and I did not know how to feed my son.”

Luis has been growing bigger and taller since he began treatment. His mother is working hard to apply what she is learning in the nutrition ...

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July 25, 2016

Luis is a six-month-old baby living in Guatemala with his grandparents and mother in a cinderblock house with a tin roof. His favorite thing to do is to play with a small rubber toy dragon. When she isn’t caring for Luis or helping Luis’s grandparents around the house, Luis’s mother is a tailor. She is a single mother, and is unable to afford more food for Luis than corn tortillas.

Luis has been diagnosed with severe chronic malnutrition. He is almost three standard deviations below a normal height for his age. He has not been receiving the calories and protein he needs, stunting his growth and weakening his immune system. He frequently gets diarrhea, fevers, and coughs, all of which contribute to lethargy and decreased appetite. Without treatment, Luis could face long-term consequences such as low IQ, increased risk of chronic diseases, and lower earning potential as an adult.

For $512, Luis can receive the treatment he needs to resolve his malnutrition. His treatment cost covers growth monitoring visits, food supplements, and medication to help him gain weight and develop properly.

Luis’s mother is eager for financial assistance to afford Luis’s treatment. “I hope my son recovers soon from malnutrition,” she says. Luis’s treatment will strengthen his immune system, increase his overall caloric intake, and make it so he has more energy to play and learn. His mother will also receive nutritional education to help her optimize the diet he needs.

Luis is a six-month-old baby living in Guatemala with his grandparents and mother in a cinderblock house with a tin roof. His favorite thing...

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Luis's Timeline

  • July 25, 2016

    Luis was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • July 25, 2016

    Luis 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.

  • September 1, 2016

    Luis's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 15, 2016

    Luis's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 9, 2017

    Luis's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 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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Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”

60% funded

$464to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.