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

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Cristhofer's treatment was fully funded on October 20, 2016.

Photo of Cristhofer post-operation

January 12, 2017

Cristhofer received successful malnutrition treatment.

Cristhofer is steadily growing taller and gaining weight. His mother says that the nutrition education classes have been very helpful. Cristhofer is not getting sick as often, and he is learning to talk. He is especially fond of playing with bottles around his house to make music.

“Sometimes it is very hard to get my baby to grow well,” says Cristhofer’s mother, “but the advice you have brought has helped me a lot.”

Cristhofer is steadily growing taller and gaining weight. His mother says that the nutrition education classes have been very helpful. Crist...

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August 19, 2016

Cristhofer is the first child in his family—he lives with his parents in a one room adobe house with a tin roof in Guatemala. He absolutely loves to play with his ball, which always makes him smile. His mother works at home: cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children as well as being a janitor at a school. His father is a day laborer in the fields, making only a couple dollars per day when there’s work—but he’s often left without any income. Although his parents work hard, they do not have the resources to feed him even one vegetable, piece of fruit, or egg per day—the minimum that he needs to reach a healthy height and weight.

Cristhofer is suffering from malnutrition, meaning that he is much too small for an 18-month-old baby. Not only has his physical grown been stunted, but his poor diet has left his body unable to fight off common sicknesses such as diarrhea, coughs, and cold. He gets sick a lot more often than a healthy child, further impeding his growth and development. Until meeting with our nurse, his mother did not realize that Cristhofer was underweight and not growing well. She was also unaware of the consequences malnutrition can cause in the long run. If Cristhofer does not receive treatment, he could face the consequences for the rest of his life—such as short stature as an adult, lower IQ, a harder time focusing, and trouble in school–all making it more likely that he will have lower-paying job as an adult and have children who are also malnourished.

$512 in funding will allow Watsi’s medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, to provide Cristhofer with growth monitoring, food supplements, and deworming medication. These measures will help him grow, develop healthily both mentally and physically, and overcome malnutrition. His parents will receive motivational nutrition education so they can learn how to best feed Cristhofer, even with the little resources they have. If he receives treatment now, he will have normal mental and physical development, giving him a better chance to be a successful student and to one day be qualified for a well-paying job.

His mother shares with us, “We want to do our part so our son can grow. When he’s older, he can get a university degree.” This treatment will give Cristhofer a better chance of escaping the cycle of malnutrition and poverty.

Cristhofer is the first child in his family—he lives with his parents in a one room adobe house with a tin roof in Guatemala. He absolutely ...

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Cristhofer's Timeline

  • August 19, 2016

    Cristhofer was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 19, 2016

    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 11, 2016

    Cristhofer's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 20, 2016

    Cristhofer's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 12, 2017

    Cristhofer'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 Cristhofer'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.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.