Julio is the only child in his family, and “the light of his parents’ life,” shares his medical team. He lives with his family a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His father works as a day laborer in a plantation near their village, and his mother works at home taking care of him, as well as cooking and cleaning.
Although his parents want nothing but the best for their son, with only a couple dollars per day to live on, they cannot afford to give him even one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day—the minimum he needs to gain weight and grow taller like he should.
Julio is suffering from malnutrition. This is because his mother cannot produce adequate breastmilk to keep her son healthy. She has tried taking herbs and other natural medicines to help increase her milk production, but it has not been working. Lactation failure can lead to the child becoming starving, dehydrated, and provoke electrolyte imbalances that can cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time is compromised and the baby is at risk of long term deficiencies.
Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Julio will receive the calories he needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Julio’s mother will prepare her for when he needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Julio’s immune system will strengthen and he will grow up to be a healthy energetic baby.
“I would like to see my son be an engineer when he is big,” Julio’s mother shares.