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Success! Abi from Guatemala raised $422 to treat her asthma.

  • $422 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Abi's treatment was fully funded on October 11, 2016.

Photo of Abi post-operation

January 19, 2017

Abi received treatment for her asthma.

Abi has improved dramatically since beginning to receive treatment for her asthma. She is now more active, and her daily medication prevents attacks from happening. Her mother is no longer worried about Abi going to school or to a friend’s house.

“She is now sleeping well since she is not affected by her cough, and she can do everything at school,” says Abi’s mother. “The medications are helping her a lot.”

Abi says, “Now I can play with my friends, run, and jump!”

Abi has improved dramatically since beginning to receive treatment for her asthma. She is now more active, and her daily medication prevents...

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September 29, 2016

Abi is an eight-year-old girl from Guatemala. She lives with her older sister and parents in a one-room house made of bamboo and adobe. Her older sister is her best friend, and they are constantly together playing and talking. Her father works in agriculture, which means that her family only have a few dollars per day to live on. This means that her parents would have to choose between paying for her school and clothes and her inhalers.

About two years ago, Abi started to have a severe cough, difficulty breathing, and constantly felt tired. She had to stop playing sports and running around with her friends, since every time she did it she felt like she could not breathe. When she went to the local government-run health outpost, they told her that she had pneumonia, but the treatment they gave her did not help.

Abi’s parents have tried to buy her inhalers to help her breathe since they thought that she might have asthma. The inhalers didn’t seem to help and they were no longer able to afford them, which left Abi with the risk of having life-threatening asthma attacks. Since her condition is dangerous, she was provided with an emergency inhaler to use until she could have a personalized treatment plan, which combines a pill and an inhaler treatment to prevent future asthma attacks.

This treatment will give Abi the chance to have a normal childhood. Inhalers will help her breathe normally, run, play, and walk around her mountainous village without becoming dangerously out of breath. Abi’s mother will also no longer be worried about her daughter having an asthma attack at school, and will relieve some of their financial stress.

Abi’s mother said, “I hope that Abi can play and run and most importantly participate in the activities at school like any other little girl or boy.”

Abi is an eight-year-old girl from Guatemala. She lives with her older sister and parents in a one-room house made of bamboo and adobe. Her ...

Read more

Abi's Timeline

  • September 29, 2016

    Abi was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • October 6, 2016

    Abi's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 11, 2016

    Abi's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 13, 2016

    Abi 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.

  • January 19, 2017

    Abi's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 3 donors

Funded by 3 donors

Acute Asthma
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $422 for Abi'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?

Without treatment, severe asthma can lead to chronic chest pain, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These symptoms limit a patient's physical activity and ability to attend school. In the most severe cases, an asthma attack can be life-threatening if it obstructs airflow through the lungs.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

In severe cases, this condition is life-threatening. In moderate cases, it causes chronic pain and shortness of breath. It can also be socially isolating for children, as they cannot participate in physical activities.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Asthma is less common in Guatemala than in the United States. The hygiene hypothesis postulates that children who are exposed early to many pathogens are less likely to be “allergic.” In the United States, where there is little such exposure, the rates of asthma, dermatitis, and other “allergic conditions” are on the rise.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Once the patient is brought to Wuqu' Kawoq (WK) with severe asthma, the staff works to obtain the necessary supplies and establish a treatment plan to stabilize the patient's condition and get his or her lung function back on track. WK educates the family and patient and provides emergency supplies for use in the home. WK works intensively with the patient for one month to standardize and optimize his or her daily asthma medications. By this time, the patient is usually symptom-free or nearly symptom-free. After this intensive treatment, funded by Watsi, WK provides ongoing periodic checkups.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves lives and stabilizes families. Controlling asthma prevents life-threatening respiratory attacks. It also helps the family to develop a reasonable and effective treatment plan. Without this treatment package, parents spend a lot of time and money looking for effective treatments. Asthma control allows children to perform better in school and engage in physical activity.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Asthma is very treatable. Although asthma is not “cured,” it can be effectively controlled with simple, standardized medical techniques. For the majority of children, symptoms improve over time. In fact, many older children no longer require medications. Side effects are incredibly rare, but include yeast infections of the mouth and hoarseness.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

For two reasons, this treatment is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. First, there is very limited expertise in asthma treatment. Second, many providers prescribe very expensive, branded medications that are no more effective than generic medications. This practice sets families up for financial ruin, because it makes them dependent on medications that they need but cannot afford. Wuqu' Kawoq sets families up with affordable treatment plans.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives. Most hospitals and doctors who treat asthma in Guatemala only treat the “acute” episodes and attacks. They do not prescribe preventative treatments that control the disease and prevent future attacks.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.