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Success! Pablo from Guatemala raised $1,500 for surgery to restore his vision.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Pablo's treatment was fully funded on September 22, 2016.

Photo of Pablo post-operation

December 12, 2016

Pablo successfully received cataract surgery to restore his vision.

Pablo’s cataract surgery was a huge success! Although doctors were worried that his diabetes might cause a higher risk of complications, Pablo has now healed and our medical team is thrilled with the results. Before, Pablo was sad that he could not see, and didn’t have much hope that his vision would ever return. Now that he feels better, his family is no longer worried about him, and he is ready to go back to work. Pablo is amazed with how his life has changed now that he can see well.

“Now I can walk along, I recognize people, and I can work for my family,” shares Pablo. “I appreciate all the people that helped with my surgery, all of my prayers have been answered.”

Pablo's cataract surgery was a huge success! Although doctors were worried that his diabetes might cause a higher risk of complications, Pab...

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August 5, 2016

Pablo’s vision has been slowly deteriorating for several years. He was told by a doctor that he likely had cataracts, which are complicating his vision and could make him blind if he does not receive surgery. He lives in an incredibly rural Guatemalan community - 12 hours away from the only hospital in the country capable of giving him the specialized care he needs.

54-year-old Pablo is a friendly and hardworking father - he drives a pickup truck transporting wood from the fields into the city to support his four children. He lives with his family in a one-room house with a tin roof in the northern jungle of Guatemala. He makes only a couple dollars per day and, until his evaluation with the eye specialist, had never been out of his home community. His favorite thing to do when he is not working is to go out and visit his neighbors.

Recently, because his vision has gotten so bad, Pablo has been having a hard time at work is worried that he will have an accident if he does not get surgery soon.

This surgery, which costs $1500 and will be done with doctors from Watsi’s medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, will give Pablo clear lenses so he will be capable of seeing, giving him the ability to work safely without fear of accidents. This surgery will prevent him from becoming blind, and allow him to live a full and happy life in which he is able to provide for his family.

“I have been looking for support for one year and so I am so appreciative for the help that I will now get,” shares Pablo.

Pablo's vision has been slowly deteriorating for several years. He was told by a doctor that he likely had cataracts, which are complicating...

Read more

Pablo's Timeline

  • August 5, 2016

    Pablo was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • August 05, 2016

    Pablo received treatment at Intituto Panamericano. 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 01, 2016

    Pablo's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 22, 2016

    Pablo's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 12, 2016

    Pablo's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 32 donors

Funded by 32 donors

Complicated Cataracts
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,500 for Pablo'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?

Cataracts cause clouded, blurred, or dim vision, decreased night vision, sensitivity to light, seeing 'halos' around lights, double vision, and decreased color vision. This is a common eye condition which causes or threatens to cause blindness or otherwise majorly impact productivity and quality of life.

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

Low vision is a problem anywhere in the world. In Guatemala it is a massive problem, because people depend on their eyesight to be able to work. Losing vision can end a career, ruin a family’s financial security, and majorly impact quality of life.

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

Uncontrolled medical conditions definitely predispose someone to getting cataracts, for example.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Treatment for this condition involves consultation with a trusted eye specialist. Surgery is usually a simple affair, requiring just a day or two in the hospital. Before and after eye surgery, drops are usually needed, which are quite expensive. The entire process typically takes 2-3 months to complete.

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

This treatment saves vision, which in turn helps affected individuals live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Complications and risks associated with this surgery are rare, but include: infection in the eye (endophthalmitis), swelling and fluid in the center of the nerve layer (cystoid macular edema), swelling of the clear covering of the eye (corneal edema), bleeding in the front of the eye (hyphema), and detachment of the nerve layer at the back of the eye (retinal detachment).

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

There are no eye surgeries available through the public system. There are several good private clinics, including the ones our medical partner uses, but the very high cost of treatment keeps people from getting care. With financing from Watsi, our medical partner can overcome this barrier for their patients.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are not many alternatives. Specialists and treatments are available in urban centers if a patient can pay for them. People who can’t pay do not have available treatments.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Eliana is a young girl from Tanzania, and the the firstborn in a family of three children. She is a very friendly and talkative girl. Eliana was born healthy and growing up for her was normal until when she was two years old. Her parents noticed her left leg was swelling and she would limp when walking. They thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary where pain-relieving medication was prescribed. Eliana's parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They shared that seeking proper treatment for Eliana was not possible due to their financial challenges. Over the next two years, her condition has worsened causing both legs to be deformed and making her walking difficult. Eliana now struggles to stand and can’t walk more than four steps without complaining of pain or falling down. This has resulted in her crawling most of the time in order to move from one place to the other. Eliana has been scheduled to have both of her legs corrected but her parents cannot afford her treatment cost and they are asking for help. Eliana has been diagnosed with bilateral flourosis, with her legs swollen on the upper side of her knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Eliana's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Eliana’s father said, “My daughter is struggling to stand and walking is now becoming close to impossible. Please help her get this treatment, we are unable to afford the treatment cost.’’

73% funded

$232to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.