Though he doesn’t enjoy posing for pictures, Norman is a happy, playful baby from Guatemala.
“When he feels well enough he loves to eat noodle soups with vegetables, and enjoys playing with toy cars in the front yard,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK).
The only child of two loving parents, Norman has had a rough time in his short life. WK tell us, “Norman has suffered from chronic diarrhea since birth, and at 3 months old he began having regular seizures. His parents have been able to successfully manage his seizures with medication, but brought him to us when they realized he was not growing well.”
After a check-up with the family, our partner determined that Norman is acutely malnourished. “His immune system is weak; he gets sick roughly every 15 days,” WK shares. Norman’s mother “is now finding it hard to afford medication so often, especially in addition to the cost of his anti-seizure medication.”
“Due to lack of access to an adequate food supply, Norman is not eating sufficient calories and his diarrhea is preventing absorption from the food he does manage to consume. This lake of caloric intake further weakens his immune system, causing him to get sick more often and be even less able to eat. His energy levels are low, and he rarely feels well enough to play with other children.”
The consequences of Norman’s condition, if left untreated, will have long-standing effects. “Without intervention, Norman will not receive the caloric and nutrient support he needs to reach his full mental and physical potential. He will have difficulty concentrating and succeeding in school, and later on in life will have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. If his diarrhea is not stopped, he will be at risk for dehydration and perhaps death,” WK warns.
With treatment, Norman can be put back on the path to health! With $535 in funding, WK can provide Norman with: “deworming medication to remove his parasitic infection which is currently causing the chronic diarrhea—allowing him to recoup the height and weight and strengthen his immune system; micro-nutrient and caloric supplementation—which will save Norman from the long lasting effects of malnutrition; and parental education—to teach his family how to provide nutritious and economically feasible options for Norman in the future.”
Norman’s mother shares with us, “I just hope my child will recover from this period of his life, and it won’t permanently affect him. I want him to grow well and to become a normal child, and to have the chance to attend school and graduate into a profession. I believe he can be an important member of society one day if he is given what he needs to grow.”