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Success! Bury from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment.

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

Photo of Bury post-operation

October 17, 2016

Bury was successfully treated for malnutrition.

Zury was able to reach a healthy height and weight after only a few months of food supplements, vitamins, and deworming medication! She has stopped getting sick as often - a sign that her immune system is growing stronger with the protein and nutrients she is receiving. Her mother has been actively participating in the nutrition and cooking classes, and is grateful to have the skills to prevent Zury from falling into malnutrition in the future.

“Zury is growing and eating well, all because of this program,” says Zury’s mother, “Before she did not eat the food that I gave her, but now it’s different. She likes to play with her cousins and dance to music!”

Zury was able to reach a healthy height and weight after only a few months of food supplements, vitamins, and deworming medication! She has ...

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May 31, 2016

Meet Zury, a 9-month-old baby girl from Guatemala and a patient with our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq. Zury is acutely malnourished. She is far too small for her size, all because she has not had the diverse and nutritious diet she needs to grow. Her malnutrition is not only affecting her growth, but also impeding her mental development and weakening her immune system. For her, even a simple fever, cough, or case of diarrhea can be life-threatening since her immune system has grown so weak. Without treatment, she is likely to face permanent problems such as low IQ, chronic disease, and low earning potential as an adult, making it likely that she will pass this condition on to future generations.

Zury is the only child to two loving parents. She lives with them in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural mountainous community of Guatemala. Her mother works taking care of her, cooking, and cleaning, while her father works as an helper to a bricklayer. Although they work hard, they do not have the resources to give Zury even one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day, making it impossible for her to overcome her malnutrition without Watsi donor support.

$512 funds a multifaceted treatment for Zury including growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication. The treatment will help Zury recover from malnutrition–saving her life now and putting her on track to live a better life in the future. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. Her immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing her from having any more life-threatening situations with diarrhea, fevers, and cough. This will further increase her appetite and help her use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.

Her mother will receive the support she needs to give Zury the diet she needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Zury 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 her sick in the first place. In her mother’s words, “I dream that my daughter will be a good student, but in order to do that she needs to grow.”

Meet Zury, a 9-month-old baby girl from Guatemala and a patient with our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq. Zury is acutely malnourished. She is ...

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Bury's Timeline

  • May 31, 2016

    Bury was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • June 3, 2016

    Bury 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.

  • June 19, 2016

    Bury's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 20, 2016

    Bury's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 17, 2016

    Bury's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 10 donors

Funded by 10 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Saing is a 74-year-old rice farmer. She is a widow and has one daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. Her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge regime, so she lives with her oldest daughter, who works in a garment factory. Saing used to be a rice farmer but shared that she can no longer work in the fields due to her declining vision. At home, Saing likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio and go to the pagoda. Four years ago, Saing developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage, and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. As a result of this condition, Saing has difficulty seeing things clearly and a hard time with day-to-day tasks. She used to cook for her daughter's family but finds it too difficult now. When Saing learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, she will undergo surgery to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. CSC is requesting $225 to cover the total cost of her procedure, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Saing shared, "I hope my eyes stop burning after surgery, and I can go outside and be more independent."

13% funded

$195to go

Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”

100% funded

$0to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.