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Success! Petronilla from Guatemala raised $629 to fund treatment for arthritis.

  • $629 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Petronilla's treatment was fully funded on January 26, 2018.

Photo of Petronilla post-operation

September 19, 2017

Petronilla underwent treatment for arthritis.

Since starting treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, Petronilla has felt much better. Petronilla’s arthritic pain has lessened a great deal, her joints are less inflamed, and she can move around easier. Before starting on medication she could not do any of the activities that brought her joy—now, however, Petronilla can enjoy hobbies such as sewing kites, plus she can make tortillas every day for her family and she can walk around without experiencing pain. With continued treatment, we are confident that Petronilla will continue to improve.

Petronilla says, “I feel so much better already. I am very happy for this support you have given me.”

Since starting treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, Petronilla has felt much better. Petronilla's arthritic pain has lessened a great deal, h...

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July 31, 2017

Petronilla is a 52-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis. When she was 27 years old, Petronilla began to have pains in her hands and arms, so she consulted with a doctor at a local health center, who diagnosed her with arthritis. Since then, Petronilla’s condition has worsened over time. Petronilla has severe pain and swelling in her joints and extremities every day. This pain prevents her from doing the things she enjoys and carrying out her daily activities, such as braiding her hair and washing her family’s clothing.

Petronilla lives with her husband and five children in Guatemala’s rural highlands. Petronilla’s first and most beloved profession was weaving and embroidering traditional indigenous women’s clothing. Because of the effects of arthritis, however, Petronilla has given up that work. She now owns a shop, where she and her daughter prepare and sell homemade tortillas. Though Petronilla’s arthritis continues to worsen, she and her family do not have the economic resources to purchase the medications that would help her.

This treatment will provide Petronilla with the medications she needs to manage her arthritis. She will no longer have pain while completing her daily tasks. With her arthritis under control, she will be able to live her life without pain and continue to support her family and live happily.

Petronilla says, “More than anything I want the pain to go away. I want to be able to wash clothing again, to weave and embroider again. I hope that this treatment will help me be able to do the things I love.”

Our medical partner is requesting $629 to fund Petronilla’s travel, lab testing, and medication. She is scheduled to begin treatment on August 7.

Petronilla is a 52-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis. When she was 27 years old, Petronilla began to have pains in her hands and arms...

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Petronilla's Timeline

  • July 31, 2017

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

  • August 07, 2017

    Petronilla 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 24, 2017

    Petronilla's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 19, 2017

    Petronilla's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 26, 2018

    Petronilla's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 16 donors

Funded by 16 donors

Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $629 for Petronilla'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?

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other related autoimmune diseases experience tender and swollen joints, joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity, fatigue, fever, weight loss, bone damage, and skin and tissue damage.

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

Living with rheumatoid arthritis and other related autoimmune diseases is highly uncomfortable. It often affects young people (usually women) who are working or just starting to raise children. Rheumatoid arthritis can make it difficult for patients to work. If untreated, as it usually is in Guatemala, it can lead to permanent disability.

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

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more common conditions that our medical partner sees. People come to Wuqu' Kawoq from all over the country for help.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The intensive phase of the treatment lasts about two to three months. Staff at our medical partner perform specialized lab work to verify the diagnosis and to quantify the extent of the damage. After that, they work with specialists (often from the United States) to provide immunosuppressive medications to patients to reduce inflammation and pain. Usually within six weeks, patients are much better and can get back to their lives. Our medical partner continues to see them as long as they want, providing support and followup. If the patient lives a long way away, staff write a letter detailing the treatment plan and medication regimen so that the patient can work with his or her local doctor.

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

The typical patient arrives in severe pain and walks out pain-free. His or her life is improved immeasurably, as are the lives of his or her dependents.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is very treatable. Treatment is predictable and algorithmic. Not all patients will recover completely, as some will still experience stiffness or pain. However, all patients will experience a remarkable improvement in function and quality of life.

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

The medications and tests required for treatment are highly specialized. Most health centers in Guatemala cannot provide this level of care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives to treatment. With time, patients who do not receive treatment gradually become more disabled.

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.