Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Melany from Guatemala raised $1,107 to fund nutrional supplementation and education.

Melany
100%
  • $1,107 raised, $0 to go
$1,107
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Melany's treatment was fully funded on May 16, 2017.

Photo of Melany post-operation

August 15, 2017

Melany received successful treatment.

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Melany has been gaining weight and growing stronger. Melany’s mother still frets to make sure that her daughter is growing well, but she is grateful for the formula she receives. With continued treatment, we are confident that Melany will continue to grow and thrive.

Melany’s mother says, “The formula is a great help for us because we cannot afford to purchase even one bottle of milk. The organization is a humanitarian institution, and they have helped my son greatly.”

Since beginning treatment for lactation failure, Melany has been gaining weight and growing stronger. Melany’s mother still frets to make su...

Read more
January 30, 2017

Since her birth two months ago, Melany has been growing too slowly. Her mother has been unable to produce sufficient breast milk to nourish Melany. Lactation failure can lead to starvation and dehydration, as well as provoke electrolyte imbalances that can cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time can also be compromised, putting Melany at risk of long-term damage.

To stabilize her condition, Melany was given a preliminary supply of formula. This will last until the nutritionist at our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, can create a nutritional plan and formally begin treatment.

Melany lives with her parents and three siblings in rural Guatemala. Her father works driving cars and trucks, and her mother takes care of the home. Her parents do not have the financial resources to pay for the baby formula that Melany needs. Her family’s limited resources put treatment for Melany outside of economic reach.

Watsi is asking for $1,107 to fund Melany’s treatment, which will begin on January 30. Your donation will help supply Melany’s mother with baby formula and health education, which will ensure Melany receives the calories she needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Melany’s mother will teach her the signs of malnutrition and other illnesses, as well as how to create a nutritious, inexpensive diet for Melany. Melany’s immune system will strengthen, and she will grow to be a healthy, energetic baby.

“We want Melany to become a nurse,” say Melany’s parents, “so that she can help others just as she is being helped.”

Since her birth two months ago, Melany has been growing too slowly. Her mother has been unable to produce sufficient breast milk to nourish ...

Read more

Melany's Timeline

  • January 30, 2017
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Melany was submitted by Cate Hendren, Complex Care Coordinator at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • February 1, 2017
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Melany's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 6, 2017
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Melany 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.

  • May 16, 2017
    FULLY FUNDED

    Melany's treatment was fully funded.

  • August 15, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Melany's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 32 donors

Treatment
Lactational Failure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,107 for Melany's treatment
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$835
Supplies
$0
Other
$272
  • 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.