to help us reach our 25,000th patient 💙
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Eliseo from Guatemala raised $535 for intensive nutritional therapy.

  • $535 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Eliseo's treatment was fully funded on December 17, 2015.

Photo of Eliseo post-operation

February 9, 2016

Eliseo received intensive nutritional therapy.

“Since beginning treatment, Eliseo’s health has been improving steadily. He has made strides not only in gaining weight, but also in getting taller,” reports his doctor at Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “His mom has noticed that her son has been developing even better recently, including eating better, being more excited to play, and having much more energy.”

“The nutritional supplements allow Eliseo to eat eggs and beans every day— which he was not receiving before. In addition, he is now eating much better and not getting sick as much,” continues WK. “Now that his immune system is strengthened, he is able to use all the energy he was using to get over sicknesses to grow big and tall! Now he can keep up with his siblings and his mental development will continue to improve. With continued treatment, he is on track to reach a healthy height, and weight, and have a strengthened immune system.”

“Thank you for the help you are giving us,” shares Eliseo’s parents. “Thanks to you, we can give our son much more and better food.”

"Since beginning treatment, Eliseo’s health has been improving steadily. He has made strides not only in gaining weight, but also in getting...

Read more
November 23, 2015

At 16 months old, Eliseo is the youngest of ten children. He lives with his parents and siblings in a small adobe house in Guatemala. Eliseo loves to play with his brothers, especially with toy cars and balls. However, due to acute malnutrition, he often has low energy and stamina, and is frequently sick with fevers and diarrhea.

Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us that Eliseo’s mother first brought him to a local health clinic where a nurse told her that Eliseo was not getting the calories he needed. Without a healthy diet, “Eliseo is far below the average height for age and weight for age and if intervention does not occur, he will be physically and mentally stunted,” his doctor says.

Eliseo’s immune system is also weakened–increasing his risk of chronic disease.

Eliseo’s mother does household chores and collects firewood to sell. However, the family is primarily dependent on Eliseo’s father’s modest income earned as fieldworker. WK tells us “Eliseo’s family does not have enough money to afford the amount of food and the quality of calories that Eliseo needs.”

For $535, Eliseo will undergo intensive nutrition therapy. He will receive micronutrient food supplementation as well as medication to prevent infections during his treatment.

Combined, this intervention will improve Eliseo’s immunity and overall nutrition–allowing Eliseo to regain the height and weight he has lost. He will also have improved long-term health, including reduced risk of chronic disease.

Eliseo’s mother will also receive the education she needs to support her children. She adds, “with the help of God and the institution, kids like our son will begin to get the food and care they need to grow. This is such a blessing.”

At 16 months old, Eliseo is the youngest of ten children. He lives with his parents and siblings in a small adobe house in Guatemala. Eliseo...

Read more

Eliseo's Timeline

  • November 23, 2015

    Eliseo was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 30, 2015

    Eliseo 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.

  • December 8, 2015

    Eliseo's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 17, 2015

    Eliseo's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 9, 2016

    Eliseo'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Hla is a 40-year-old woman living with her husband and adopted daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hla and her family fled their village in Burma, due to fighting in the area. In January, Hla learned that she was pregnant for the first time after ten years of marriage. Then in March, Hla had to flee with her husband and daughter due to the fighting near her village. They moved in with her uncle, who lives in a refugee camp. Once there, she sought prenatal care at a clinic in the camp, where she was told that she had a breech baby, which would require a Caesarean section in order for her baby to be delivered safely. The C-section is scheduled for May 11th at nearby Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). When Hla told a friend that she does not have the money to pay for her hospital stay, her friend referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for help with paying for her care. Currently, Hla is eight months pregnant and is worried about her condition and the health of her baby. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Hla's treatment, and for the safe delivery of her baby. Hla said, "I was very worried when I heard that I will need an expensive C-section. I could not think of anyone to help pay for my surgery, and I felt stressed about giving birth through a C-section. After I heard from BCMF staff that donors could help pay for my surgery, I started to feel so much more relaxed and less worried. I still worry about my baby being born healthy."

93% funded

$92to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.