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Success! Gladis from Guatemala raised $1,162 to fund malnutrition treatment.

  • $1,162 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Gladis's treatment was fully funded on January 8, 2018.

Photo of Gladis post-operation

August 14, 2017

Gladis underwent malnutrition treatment.

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Gladis has been growing and developing well. Gladis is taking her formula as indicated. The parents are happy that their baby is receiving the milk she needs. Now they have hope that their baby will keep improving. With continued treatment, we are confident that Gladis will continue along this healthy trajectory.

Gladis’s mother says, “Thank you to the organizations and the donors for the efforts they are doing in helping children, especially for helping Gladis.”

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Gladis has been growing and developing well. Gladis is taking her formula as indicated. The...

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June 14, 2017

Gladis is a two-month-old baby girl living with her family in the rural highlands of Guatemala.

Gladis’s mother has been unable to produce enough breast milk for her, and has resorted to feeding her warm sugar water to fill Gladis up. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Gladis’s health. Lactation failure can lead to starvation, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances that cause seizures. Brain development during this period is particularly sensitive and continued malnourishment could put Gladis at risk for long-term damage.

Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is requesting $1,162 to fund Gladis’s treatment, which will begin on June 22. Gladis will receive formula, micronutrients, and food supplementation, as well as regular growth monitoring. Community health workers will also teach her mother how to create a nutrient rich diet using limited resources. Hopefully Gladis’s continued treatment will allow her to gain weight, strengthen her immune system, and catch up with other children her age.

Gladis´s mother says, “Thank you for the support we will get. Thank you to the donors for helping children in Guatemala, especially for helping Gladis. With the help of the program, I will see my child grow little by little.”

Gladis is a two-month-old baby girl living with her family in the rural highlands of Guatemala. Gladis's mother has been unable to produ...

Read more

Gladis's Timeline

  • June 14, 2017

    Gladis was submitted by Ana Lopez, Complex Care Coordinator at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • June 22, 2017

    Gladis 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 8, 2017

    Gladis's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 14, 2017

    Gladis's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • January 8, 2018

    Gladis's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Lactational Failure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,162 for Gladis'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.