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Success! Yolanda from Guatemala raised $1,107 to fund malnutrition treatment.

  • $1,107 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Yolanda's treatment was fully funded on December 11, 2016.

Photo of Yolanda post-operation

March 7, 2017

Yolanda received malnutrition treatment.

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Yolanda has been growing bigger and stronger. Yolanda’s parents say that they can see how much their daughter has improved because she sleeps a lot and only wakes up when she is hungry. With continued treatment, our medical partner is confident that Yolanda will continue to gain weight and grow taller.

Yolanda’s parents say, “We are so grateful for the support we have received. This has been such a great help because we do not have the resources to buy formula. We hope that our daughter will continue to develop well and one day grow up to become a teacher.”

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Yolanda has been growing bigger and stronger. Yolanda’s parents say that they can see how m...

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November 14, 2016

Yolanda and her twin sister Milvia were a huge surprise for her parents–they did not realize they were having twins! Even though this was a great surprise, it has been difficult for their family since Yolanda’s mother is unable to produce breast milk, leaving her hopeless to her daughter’s crying for milk. Her only option is to give her daughter sugar water to fill her belly and help her sleep. This is a delicate age as, without formula, Yolanda could face risk of seizure due to electrolyte imbalances, life-threatening diarrhea or other infection, and it could impede brain development.

Yolanda lives with her 6 brothers and sisters in a rural Guatemala. Together they live in a humble adobe home with a tin roof, where her mother spends her days weaving traditional Mayan textiles and taking care of the kids. Unfortunately, even if they spent every cent they had, they would not be able to afford the life-saving formula that their daughter needs.

Although dangerous, treatment for lactational failure is simple. Yolanda will begin to receive formula on October 16, and her parents will receive in-home motivational nutrition education, both helping her gain weight and grow well now, and giving her family the tools to prevent future cases of malnutrition in the long run.

Yolanda and her twin sister Milvia were a huge surprise for her parents--they did not realize they were having twins! Even though this was ...

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Yolanda's Timeline

  • November 14, 2016

    Yolanda was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • November 16, 2016

    Yolanda 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.

  • November 21, 2016

    Yolanda's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 11, 2016

    Yolanda's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 07, 2017

    Yolanda's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Lactational Failure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,107 for Yolanda'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?

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.