Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Cristhofer from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment.

Cristhofer
100%
  • $512 raised, $0 to go
$512
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Cristhofer's treatment was fully funded on October 14, 2016.

Photo of Cristhofer post-operation

February 1, 2017

Cristhofer received successful malnutrition treatment.

Cristhofer has nearly overcome acute malnutrition after several months of drinking the calorie and nutrient-rich formula. This has given him the ability to grow and develop mentally and physically. It has also strengthened his immune system, giving him more energy to play and learn!

His mother says, “I am appreciative for the help that my son got. He is growing well now. I was scared that he was going to die because he was so small, but now I see the difference. He is eating better and is drinking his milk. That is helping him gain weight, and now he’s even learning how to stand up on his own!”

Cristhofer has nearly overcome acute malnutrition after several months of drinking the calorie and nutrient-rich formula. This has given him...

Read more
August 19, 2016

Six-month-old Cristhofer is the youngest of two children. He lives with his family in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His mother is raising him alone, and works cooking, cleaning, and taking care of him and his siblings, as well as washing neighbors’ clothes to earn a little money. Although his mom wants the best for him, she does 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.

When he was born, Cristhofer had to spend the first weeks of his life hospitalized for pneumonia. Since then, he has not been able to catch up to a normal weight. His mother says that he is almost always sick and never has an appetite—that is because he hasn’t had a healthy diet filled with protein, calories, and nutrients.

If he does not receive treatment, Cristhofer 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 Cristhofer 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.

His mother will receive the support she need to feel empowered to give Cristhofer the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily, even with limited resources. Intervention now will give Cristhofer 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.

Six-month-old Cristhofer is the youngest of two children. He lives with his family in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His mother ...

Read more

Cristhofer's Timeline

  • August 19, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Cristhofer was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 22, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Cristhofer 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 8, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Cristhofer's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 14, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Cristhofer's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 1, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Cristhofer's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

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

Da

Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago. Da's wife is a homemaker, and his son works as a day laborer. In his free time, Da likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his right eye also blurred over time. Later on, the vision in his left eye also became blurred. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery. However, when Da told the doctor the he had experienced seizures in the past, the doctor ordered a CT scan to check if the problem with his vision is being caused by a brain tumor. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the toilet and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Doctors want Da to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Da's CT scan and care, scheduled for November 29th. Da says, "If my vision is restored, I will teach my son how to farm the land and grow crops. I will also volunteer at the Church as much as I can."

47% funded

47%funded
$198raised
$216to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.