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

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Anthony's treatment was fully funded on June 25, 2016.

Photo of Anthony post-operation

October 17, 2016

Anthony has successfully been treated for malnutrition.

Anthony has been steadily gaining weight and growing taller since he began treatment for malnutrition. Her treatment has included growth monitoring, vitamins, deworming medication, food supplements, and nutritional education, which have helped him have much more energy. His mother has loved to participate in the nutritional education and cooking classes, learning about low-cost nutritious foods she can feed Anthony to prevent future cases of malnutrition. We are confident that in his coming months of treatment he will continue to grow and develop healthily!

“Our family is profoundly appreciative for the program. We have seen the change in our son thanks to the support that you all have given to him,” shares Anthony’s mother, “At the beginning, he didn’t eat and was very underweight, but now he is gaining weight and taking the vitamins. Now he wants to play with his brother.”

Anthony has been steadily gaining weight and growing taller since he began treatment for malnutrition. Her treatment has included growth mon...

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May 31, 2016

“I hope my son can one day have a college degree,” said Anthony’s mother.

Meet Anthony, a 17-month-old boy from Guatemala. Anthony is currently living with acute malnutrition. His mother is worried because he has been losing weight recently, and she has not been able to help him gain it back.

In addition to weight loss, Anthony’s immune defenses are weak from the lack of calories, causing him frequent bouts of diarrhea. These bouts put his life in danger by making him extremely dehydrated and depriving him of any nutrients that he consumes. If he does not receive treatment, he could face long-term effects such as stunted neuro-development, chronic diseases, and difficulty finding and keeping a well-paying job.

Anthony lives with his parents and siblings in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. They are indigenous Maya Kaqchikel, and they live in a rural community in the mountains of Guatemala. His mother works at home, taking care of Anthony and his siblings, and his father is currently unemployed. Both his parents make many sacrifices for Anthony’s health, but they cannot afford to give him even one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day, making it impossible for him to overcome malnutrition without Watsi support.

Anthony’s family seeks financial assistance for a $512 treatment program that includes growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication. These measures will help Anthony recover from malnutrition–saving his life now and putting him on track to live a better life in the future.

With successful treatment, Anthony will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any more life-threatening situations with diarrhea, fevers, and cough. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.

In addition to Anthony’s own treatment, his parents will receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Anthony the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, giving Anthony the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.

"I hope my son can one day have a college degree," said Anthony's mother. Meet Anthony, a 17-month-old boy from Guatemala. Anthony is cu...

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Anthony's Timeline

  • May 31, 2016

    Anthony was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • June 3, 2016

    Anthony received treatment at Clinic Tecpán 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 20, 2016

    Anthony's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 25, 2016

    Anthony's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 17, 2016

    Anthony's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

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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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.