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Success! Kenedy from Guatemala raised $512 to treat his acute malnutrition.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Kenedy's treatment was fully funded on September 22, 2016.

Photo of Kenedy post-operation

September 26, 2016

Kenedy received successful malnutrition treatment.

Since he started treatment for malnutrition, Kenedy he has been steadily improving, growing taller, and catching up with developmental milestones. The protein and calorie-rich foods he is receiving is giving him more energy to grow, play, and bolstering his immune system. He now can walk while holding on to someone’s hand, and his mother says that he is now more smiley and talkative now. We are confident that with continued treatment Kenedy will be on his way to overcoming malnutrition and reaching a normal height and weight for his age.

“Thank you for the help that my son is receiving from you,” Kenedy’s mother shared. “Although it has been hard for him to improve, he now has your support, which will help him get better. I want to see him grow, go to school and study, and be able to graduate to become a veterinarian.”

Since he started treatment for malnutrition, Kenedy he has been steadily improving, growing taller, and catching up with developmental miles...

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July 11, 2016

Kenedy’s mother shares, “I want my baby to grow big so he can study to be a veterinarian.”

Her 12-month-old son, Kenedy, has acute malnutrition. He is nearly four standard deviations below a healthy height for his age. Ever since he was born prematurely, he has had a hard time growing. He has been getting diarrhea and fevers almost every week, a life-threatening situation for such a young infant. And in the long term, if he does not receive treatment soon, Kenedy could face long-term effects such as a low IQ, increased risk of chronic disease, and low earning potential as an adult.

Kenedy lives in Guatemala with his parents and his three siblings. His oldest sister, who is nine, takes care of him, while his mother cooks and cleans around the house. Kenedy loves to crawl, and smiles every time somebody talks to him. His father works as a day laborer, making only a couple dollars per day—barely enough to buy basic foods like tortillas. This means Kenedy’s diet typically does not include even one fruit, vegetable, or egg per day.

But for $512, we can change that. Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Kenedy recover from malnutrition–saving his life now and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. With this added sustenance, his immune system will grow more robust, allowing his body and brain to develop instead of using every last calorie to combat his frequent illnesses.

Furthermore, this funding will also provide his parents with several sessions of nutritional counseling. This will empower them to give Kenedy the diet he needs within their budget.

Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Kenedy the chance to live a healthy and productive life. His mother tells us, “I am very appreciative for the support that my son will receive, I know that he will get better and grow well.”

Kenedy’s mother shares, “I want my baby to grow big so he can study to be a veterinarian." Her 12-month-old son, Kenedy, has acute malnu...

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Kenedy's Timeline

  • July 11, 2016

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

  • July 11, 2016

    Kenedy received treatment at Clinic Panajachel. 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.

  • August 11, 2016

    Kenedy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 22, 2016

    Kenedy's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 26, 2016

    Kenedy's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 tencent penguin

Funded by 1 donor

Profile 48x48 tencent penguin
Acute Malnutrition
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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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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.’’

69% funded

$272to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.