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

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

Photo of Jeffry post-operation

October 25, 2016

Jeffry was successfully treated for malnutrition.

Since beginning treatment two months ago, Jeffry has gained three pounds and grown one and a half inches! The nutrition classes included as part of treatment have been particularly helpful for Jeffry’s mother who says that she now knows how best to feed her son a nourishing diet. With increased caloric intake, Jeffry has more energy to grow and to play. His mother reports that Jeffry currently likes practicing talking with her, playing with toy cars, and eating bread with beans. We are encouraged by Jeffry’s growth so far and are confident that throughout the rest of his treatment and moving forward with his mother’s support, he will continue to grow stronger.

“I am happy with the benefits this program has provided,” shares Jeffry’s mother. “The classes I have received have been very helpful, because now I know how to nourish my son.”

Since beginning treatment two months ago, Jeffry has gained three pounds and grown one and a half inches! The nutrition classes included as ...

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August 4, 2016

“I hope that my son can grow and be a good teacher when he’s big,” shares the mother of 19-month-old Jeffry.

Jeffry is the youngest of three children. He lives with his siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural village in the mountains of Guatemala. He loves to race his toy cars with his older siblings. His father works as an assistant to a bricklayer and his mother takes care of him and his siblings. They often live on less than $2 per day, meaning giving their son even just one piece of fruit, one vegetable, and one egg is out of reach.

Jeffry is suffering from malnutrition because his parents have not been able to afford to provide him with a healthy and varied diet. His lack of protein, calories, and nutrients have made him nearly three standard deviations below the healthy size for his age. His body is weak and unable to fight off sicknesses, meaning he comes down with diarrhea, fever, or a respiratory infection almost every week. His mother is worried since lately he has not had an appetite and hasn’t had the energy to play with his two older siblings. In the long term, Jeffry could have a lower IQ and a greater risk for chronic diseases if he does not receive treatment for his malnutrition.

Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation will help Jeffry recover from malnutrition - immediately saving his life and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. All of this treatment and medication costs $512. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will strengthen with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any life-threatening situations with diarrhea, fevers, and cough. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.

Jeffry’s parents will receive the support they need to give him the proper diet to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Jeffry the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.

"I hope that my son can grow and be a good teacher when he's big," shares the mother of 19-month-old Jeffry. Jeffry is the youngest of th...

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Jeffry's Timeline

  • August 4, 2016

    Jeffry was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 16, 2016

    Jeffry 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

    Jeffry's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 19, 2016

    Jeffry's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 25, 2016

    Jeffry's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $512 for Jeffry'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.