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Success! Maria from Guatemala raised $422 to fund asthma treatment.

Maria
100%
  • $422 raised, $0 to go
$422
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Maria's treatment was fully funded on November 15, 2017.

Photo of Maria post-operation

August 3, 2017

Maria received asthma treatment.

María’s asthma has been getting better since she has started using an inhaler. Beforehand, María struggled to do her daily activities, and could only walk short distances before having to sit down and catch her breath. Now, however, María is able to do all of her activities with ease.

María says, “I feel very tranquil because I can control my illness now thanks to the medications you have given me. Now I can walk to the market and go to church. I feel happy.”

María’s asthma has been getting better since she has started using an inhaler. Beforehand, María struggled to do her daily activities, and c...

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June 9, 2017

María is a 52-year-old weaver from Guatemala who suffers from asthma. She has eight children and makes a living by weaving and selling the traditional Mayan textiles of her village.

Ten years ago, María began to notice the onset of asthmatic symptoms. She experienced increased difficulty while breathing, had daily coughing fits, and tired easily from walking. Due to the treatment’s expenses, María has never been able to see a doctor for her asthma.

On June 9, María will receive treatment for acute asthma. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is requesting $422 to fund this treatment, which includes consultation and medications. This treatment will relieve María of her fatigue and coughing fits, thereby helping her work comfortably and take care of her family.

María says, “I wish to be well and live for many more years so that I can see my grandchildren grow up and graduate from school.”

María is a 52-year-old weaver from Guatemala who suffers from asthma. She has eight children and makes a living by weaving and selling the t...

Read more

Maria's Timeline

  • June 9, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

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

  • June 9, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Maria 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.

  • June 19, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Maria's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 3, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Maria's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • November 15, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Maria's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Treatment
Acute Asthma
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $422 for Maria's treatment
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$328
Supplies
$0
Other
$94
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Without treatment, severe asthma can lead to chronic chest pain, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These symptoms limit a patient's physical activity and ability to attend school. In the most severe cases, an asthma attack can be life-threatening if it obstructs airflow through the lungs.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

In severe cases, this condition is life-threatening. In moderate cases, it causes chronic pain and shortness of breath. It can also be socially isolating for children, as they cannot participate in physical activities.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Asthma is less common in Guatemala than in the United States. The hygiene hypothesis postulates that children who are exposed early to many pathogens are less likely to be “allergic.” In the United States, where there is little such exposure, the rates of asthma, dermatitis, and other “allergic conditions” are on the rise.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Once the patient is brought to Wuqu' Kawoq (WK) with severe asthma, the staff works to obtain the necessary supplies and establish a treatment plan to stabilize the patient's condition and get his or her lung function back on track. WK educates the family and patient and provides emergency supplies for use in the home. WK works intensively with the patient for one month to standardize and optimize his or her daily asthma medications. By this time, the patient is usually symptom-free or nearly symptom-free. After this intensive treatment, funded by Watsi, WK provides ongoing periodic checkups.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves lives and stabilizes families. Controlling asthma prevents life-threatening respiratory attacks. It also helps the family to develop a reasonable and effective treatment plan. Without this treatment package, parents spend a lot of time and money looking for effective treatments. Asthma control allows children to perform better in school and engage in physical activity.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Asthma is very treatable. Although asthma is not “cured,” it can be effectively controlled with simple, standardized medical techniques. For the majority of children, symptoms improve over time. In fact, many older children no longer require medications. Side effects are incredibly rare, but include yeast infections of the mouth and hoarseness.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

For two reasons, this treatment is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. First, there is very limited expertise in asthma treatment. Second, many providers prescribe very expensive, branded medications that are no more effective than generic medications. This practice sets families up for financial ruin, because it makes them dependent on medications that they need but cannot afford. Wuqu' Kawoq sets families up with affordable treatment plans.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives. Most hospitals and doctors who treat asthma in Guatemala only treat the “acute” episodes and attacks. They do not prescribe preventative treatments that control the disease and prevent future attacks.

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Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Gebreegziabher

Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”

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