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Success! Lucas from Guatemala raised $782 to fund nutritional supplementation.

  • $782 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Lucas's treatment was fully funded on August 31, 2017.

Photo of Lucas post-operation

August 29, 2017

Lucas received nutritional supplementation.

Since beginning treatment for malnutrition, Lucas has been gaining weight and growing healthier. Lucas’s mother says that her son has more of an appetite than before entering into the program, and he is eating more nutritiously. Lucas is now more animated and plays more, and as a whole is more content. With continued treatment, we are confident that Lucas will continue to grow and recover from acute malnutrition.

Lucas’s mother says, “I am grateful for all you do for my son. I am doing everything possible so that he eats better and eats his fruits and vegetables. Thank you to the institution for the attention you give my son. I hope that in the future he can study and have a better life.”

Since beginning treatment for malnutrition, Lucas has been gaining weight and growing healthier. Lucas’s mother says that her son has more o...

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February 23, 2017

Two-year-old Lucas lives with his family in the rural highlands of Guatemala. He loves to eat bananas and eggs and enjoys playing with his plastic toy horse. His mother works taking care of their family’s household, and his father works as a day laborer.

Lucas’s parents are very worried about him because he is not gaining weight. Underweight and small for his age, Lucas has malnutrition, a dangerous condition that results from consuming too few calories and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Lucas has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak. He may also face malnutrition’s long-term consequences, such as increased risk of chronic diseases, low IQ, and higher likelihood of dropping out of school.

While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation coordinated by Watsi’s medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, will help Lucas recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake. Community health workers will teach his mother to create a nutrient-rich diet, even with limited resources.

Lucas’s parents do not have the financial resources to pay for the malnutrition treatment that he needs. They will need help raising $782 to pay for his care, which is scheduled to begin on February 28.

“I am worried about my son’s health, but I am willing to do anything to see him get better,” shares Lucas’s mother. “I hope that with this treatment he will be healthier.”

Two-year-old Lucas lives with his family in the rural highlands of Guatemala. He loves to eat bananas and eggs and enjoys playing with his p...

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Lucas's Timeline

  • February 23, 2017

    Lucas was submitted by Hannah Shryer, Complex Care Coordinator/Research Intern at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • March 1, 2017

    Lucas's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 2, 2017

    Lucas 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.

  • August 29, 2017

    Lucas's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • August 31, 2017

    Lucas's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $782 for Lucas'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.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.