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Success! Francisco from Guatemala raised $1,016 for nutritional formula to treat malnutrition.

  • $1,016 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Francisco's treatment was fully funded on August 25, 2016.

Photo of Francisco post-operation

January 9, 2017

Francisco received successful malnutrition treatment.

Francisco is making great progress, growing taller and gaining weight since he began to receive formula. He has not gotten sick since beginning treatment, showing that his immune system has gotten stronger.

Francisco’s mother has also been putting into practice all that she has learned in the nutrition program. She is happy to see the results of her hard work!

“When I went to the government health care center, they asked me what I was doing, because in only five weeks he gained two pounds,” says Francisco’s mother. “I told them I had your support. I’m so happy.”

Francisco is making great progress, growing taller and gaining weight since he began to receive formula. He has not gotten sick since beginn...

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July 13, 2016

Meet Francisco, a three-month-old baby boy from Guatemala. Francisco’s mother is unable to produce breastmilk. His parents were able to purchase a small amount of formula to give him, but they have only been giving him about half of what he needs, leaving him malnourished. Now, his parents have run out of money and cannot buy him any more.

Francisco has been losing weight since his parents have not been able to afford the formula, weakening his immune system and putting him at risk for seizures and diarrhea, which can be life-threatening. Since he was acutely malnourished when a physician from Watsi’s medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, first found and visited Francisco in his home, he gave Francisco a small amount of formula to use until he could be evaluated by a nutritionist.

Francisco lives with his family in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. Although his mother spends her days taking care of him and his father works in the fields tending to crops, they do not have the resources to buy Francisco the formula he needs. After borrowing money from friends and family, they are out of options to pay for this expensive treatment.

Although Francisco is very sick, treatment is simple and very effective. Wuqu’ Kawoq’s nutritionist will design a treatment for him so he will get all the proteins, calories, and nutrients he needs to grow and thrive. For $1,016, Francisco will receive twelve months of milk formula and six months of micronutrient supplementation. He will grow stronger, catch up in his growth, and be able to have a normal childhood! Let’s help fund this important treatment for Francisco.

Meet Francisco, a three-month-old baby boy from Guatemala. Francisco's mother is unable to produce breastmilk. His parents were able to pu...

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Francisco's Timeline

  • July 13, 2016

    Francisco was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • July 14, 2016

    Francisco 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.

  • August 12, 2016

    Francisco's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 25, 2016

    Francisco's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 9, 2017

    Francisco's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Lactational Failure
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Babies without access to maternal milk typically lose weight to the point of being acutely malnourished. They are at risk of seizures due to imbalances in their electrolytes, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage. Their immune systems are weak and they are dehydrated, meaning they can easily come down with diarrhea, which is life-threatening for an acutely malnourished baby. Sometimes babies appear chubby and bloated due to being fed sugar water or cow's milk. Babies often cry more than normal due to their chronic hunger.

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

For a newborn baby, access to maternal milk is critical. If milk supply is poor, the baby will begin to lose weight. This almost immediately begins to have impact on potential brain development and, if it is not caught quickly and reversed, it can lead to death or permanent brain damage.

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

In the United States, substitute milk formulas are readily available and usually fairly inexpensive. However, in Guatemala, milk formula is unbelievably expensive. For example, to provide an adequate amount of milk to a newborn baby can easily cost more on a month to month basis than a poor family makes in total household wages. Therefore, caregivers of these children are caught in an impossible bind, where they couldn’t provide for their children even if they spent every last cent they could get their hands on.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Caregivers of babies enrolled in this program receive intensive counselling on how to properly prepare and mix infant formula. They receive weekly or every other week check-in to make sure that weight is recovering. They receive 12 months of guaranteed access to infant formula, free of charge. We usually will provide a “final update” about the child long before the 12 month mark, usually after 1-3 months, when it is clear that a full recovery has occurred.

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

This treatment saves lives and it saves brains. It prevents babies from dying from dehydration or acute malnutrition. And it promotes normal growth of the brain, guaranteeing that children have a chance to lead normal and highly functional lives at their full potential.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable. Nearly 100% of children will experience major improvements in energy and weight, usually with in the first week. When caught early and properly treated, the poor health consequences of lactational failure can be totally reversed.

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

This treatment is not accessible at all in the locations in which we work. It is incredibly expensive (one tin that lasts a week often costs more than a typical monthly household income), meaning families have no way to pay for it. By helping families afford milk formula, we overcome this problem.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives to our program. Many organizations and governmental entities will provide small amounts of milk formula, but never in a quantity sufficient to guarantee a thriving child.

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.