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

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

Photo of Alyn post-operation

January 12, 2017

Alyn received successful malnutrition treatment.

Alyn is growing taller, gaining weight, and getting stronger. Before she began treatment, Alyn did not want to eat anything that wasn’t liquid. Now, Alyn’s mother knows how to give her daughter a balanced diet. These days, Alyn loves running around her house or playing soccer.

“I am happy and thankful to see how my daughter is growing well,” says Alyn’s mother.

Alyn is growing taller, gaining weight, and getting stronger. Before she began treatment, Alyn did not want to eat anything that wasn’t liqu...

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August 18, 2016

Two-year-old Alyn lives with her parents and her older sister in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. Her favorite thing to do is to play with her dolls and plastic tea set with her older sister.

Alyn’s parents are worried because they have noticed their daughter is getting sick more often than the other children in their village, and won’t eat any food that isn’t a liquid. Alyn’s poor appetite, weak immune system, and slow growth are due to acute malnutrition. These symptoms all make it likelier that Alyn will have lower-paying job as an adult and will also raise children with malnutrition.

However, Alyn’s parents cannot currently afford to feed her the vegetables and protein that she needs in order to escape the acute stage of malnutrition that she has fallen into. Although Alyn’s parents work hard as a seamstress and day laborer, together they make only about a couple dollars per day.

For $512, we can help Alyn recover. She will receive food supplements, deworming medication, and lab tests that will ensure she develops at a healthy pace, both mentally and physically. Her parents will also receive motivational nutrition education so they can learn how to best feed Alyn on their budget.

If Alyn receives treatment now, she will be able to have normal mental and physical development, giving her a better chance to be a successful student and to one day be qualified for a well-paying job.

“We dream that our daughter will be a great teacher,” shares Alyn’s mother.

Two-year-old Alyn lives with her parents and her older sister in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. Her favorite thing to do is to p...

Read more

Alyn's Timeline

  • August 18, 2016

    Alyn was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 18, 2016

    Alyn 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 12, 2016

    Alyn's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 15, 2016

    Alyn's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 12, 2017

    Alyn'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 Alyn'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.