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Success! Edgar from Guatemala raised $837 to fund malnutrition treatment.

  • $837 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Edgar's treatment was fully funded on January 8, 2018.

Photo of Edgar post-operation

September 28, 2017

Edgar underwent malnutrition treatment.

Since beginning treatment for malnutrition, Edgar has been gaining weight and growing taller. Though Edgar had been very sick, our medical partner has monitored his growth and progress to make sure that he gets better, and now he is no longer in acute malnutrition. With continued treatment, our medical partner is confident that Edgar will continue along this healthy trajectory.

Edgar’s mother says, “Thank you for all the interventions you have done with my son. Thank you to the donors especially, for it is because of you that my son is recovering. I hope that in the future he can be happy and healthy.”

Since beginning treatment for malnutrition, Edgar has been gaining weight and growing taller. Though Edgar had been very sick, our medical p...

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June 9, 2017

Edgar is a 14-month-old living with his family in Guatemala’s rural highlands. Edgar’s father works as a day laborer, and his mother stays home to care for the family. To supplement the family’s income, Edgar’s mother weaves and sells traditional Mayan textiles.

While Edgar loves to eat, his family does not always have enough money to provide him with the balanced diet that he needs to grow. Malnutrition has stunted Edgar’s growth, so that despite his age, he is only the size of a six-month-old. In the short term, Edgar’s malnutrition leaves him with little energy and a weakened immune system. If left untreated, malnutrition can also lead to chronic disease, low IQ, and increased likelihood of dropping out of school. Edgar’s parents are very worried about their son, but they do not have the resources to pay for his treatment.

Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is requesting $837 to fund Edgar’s treatment, which will begin on June 22. Community health workers will teach Edgar’s mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet with limited resources. The treatment program will also provide Edgar’s family with the tools they need to make sure Edgar is growing and developing at a normal rate.

Edgar’s mother says, “I am very happy to be a part of the program.” She is excited for her son to get the chance to grow up healthy and strong.

Edgar is a 14-month-old living with his family in Guatemala's rural highlands. Edgar's father works as a day laborer, and his mother stays h...

Read more

Edgar's Timeline

  • June 9, 2017

    Edgar was submitted by Hannah Shryer, Complex Care Coordinator/Research Intern at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • June 22, 2017

    Edgar received treatment at Clinic Tecpán. 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, 2017

    Edgar's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 28, 2017

    Edgar's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 08, 2018

    Edgar's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $837 for Edgar'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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Joseph is a 19-year-old joyful boy who hails from the Mount Elgon area in Kenya. He shared that he is known around the village as the guy with the large mass due to his protruding hernia on his abdomen. In February 2019, Joseph was involved in a road traffic accident when he was headed home from his daily labor. He sustained injuries in his stomach where he was rushed to a hospital and an exploratory laparotomy was done. A few days later, Joseph was discharged from hospital and as his wounds were healing he started developing a mass on his stomach. Joseph feared to go to the hospital again because he didn’t want to be in pain. As the mass grew bigger, Joseph started worrying about his life. He went to his church pastor where the church raised money to send him to the capital city to get it removed but they were told he needed a specialist who demanded a lot of money which they could not afford. Joseph had given up on the possibility of getting treated. It was not until a friend asked his pastor to bring him to our hospital, where he was diagnosed with an incisional hernia that he was happy to be told that his condition can be treated. Joseph's father died of illness while he was young. He dropped out of school in Grade 4 because his mother re-married and she didn't have money to send him to school, so he began to work in farms to help get money for his daily needs like food. Joseph works in the farms and gardens and enjoys planting and farming. He wants to be able to have a big farm and grow lots of vegetables, corn, and millet. Joseph has gone to other doctors to help with his mass but everyone said it wasn’t operable. He is most disturbed by the way people who stare at him. Joseph is a very practical man and looks forward to going back to his farm and working hard to have a good crop and harvest and have a good life. Joseph is worried that he might not get a wife due to his condition. He is also facing stigma by people talking about his condition and has been denied work. If he is not treated, his condition will continue to worsen and his future plans feel bleak to him if he does not get treatment. Joseph told us, “I just want to be able to find a girl to marry and have a family.”

24% funded

$356to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.