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Success! Marvin from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment and formula.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Marvin's treatment was fully funded on September 8, 2016.

Photo of Marvin post-operation

October 25, 2016

Marvin successfully was treated for malnutrition.

Since beginning treatment two months ago, Marvin has gained over one pound and grown about one and a half inches. Marvin’s mother reports that he is doing well and is currently enjoying playing soccer with their neighbor. His mother has found nutrition classes very helpful, and they have taught her how often and what he son ought to eat in order to have a balanced diet. Now she feels empowered to help Marvin grow healthy and strong.

Marvin’s mother says, “Now I know I’m preparing food that will help my son grow well.”

Since beginning treatment two months ago, Marvin has gained over one pound and grown about one and a half inches. Marvin’s mother reports th...

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August 4, 2016

Marvin is just under one year old, and the youngest of three children. He lives with his siblings in a one-room cinderblock house with a tin roof in Guatemala. He loves to play with his ball, his toy cars, and his small toy motorcycle. His father works as a bricklayer and his mother works at home taking care of him and his siblings–most days they live on only a couple dollars, unable to buy even one fruit, vegetable, or egg per day for Marvin.

Marvin has not been growing taller or gaining weight because he is malnourished. His body has not been receiving the nutrients and energy it needs to grow, not only leaving him very small for his age, but also weakening his immune system. In the past two weeks alone, he has suffered from diarrhea, a fever, and a bad cough–leaving him without an appetite and without the energy to play. In the long term, he could face a low IQ and chronic diseases if he does not receive treatment.

Although Marvin is very sick, treatment is simple. His parents will receive in-home nutrition classes to teach them about what diet Marvin needs to be healthy. He will be a part of our growth monitoring program, ensuring he is responding well to treatment, and will receive food supplements and micronutrients to improve his diet and give him the energy he needs to play and grow.

This treatment will give Marvin the chance to be a healthy baby, helping him grow, strengthening his immune system, and putting him on track to live a healthy and full life and escape the cycle of poverty and malnutrition he is currently caught in.

Marvin is just under one year old, and the youngest of three children. He lives with his siblings in a one-room cinderblock house with a tin...

Read more

Marvin's Timeline

  • August 4, 2016

    Marvin was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 16, 2016

    Marvin received treatment at Clinic Panajachel 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 29, 2016

    Marvin's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • September 8, 2016

    Marvin's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 25, 2016

    Marvin's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 17 donors

Funded by 17 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $512 for Marvin'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?

Children generally face stunted physical growth, delayed mental and motor development, low appetite, and frequent illness. Malnourished children have weakened immune systems that put them at risk of diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illnesses. This treatment treats growth failure in small children usually under 2 years of age. The most common form of growth failure in children in Guatemala is called stunting. This is a form of malnutrition where weight is relatively normal but height is severely reduced.

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

Stunting has major effects on the developing brain. Stunted children have low IQ and they don’t make major developmental milestones. These effects persist into adulthood, where they impact schooling and economic potential. Furthermore, stunting contributes to the development of serious adult illness like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

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

Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Children enrolled in our recuperative nutrition program receive about 1-4 months of intensive intervention, depending on the severity of the case. All of this care is delivered in the home in a personalized fashion. Most require a basic laboratory evaluation to look for thyroid disease, anemia, and intestinal infections. Acute infections are rapidly treated with antibiotics. Then a specialized case manager and nutritionist make weekly or every other week educational and health monitoring visits to the home. An assessment of food insecurity is conducted using standardized instruments and food is often provided to help bolster acute recovery. Micronutrient supplementation is provided.

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

This treatment saves brains. Appetite and growth and developmental milestones recover, and height begins to rise once again. The immediate outcome is improved overall child health, including reduced vulnerability to severe infections. The long term outlook is improved cognitive potential, school completion, and economic prospects. Nearly 100% of children will experience improve appetite, energy, and development. At least 75% of children will have noticeable improvement in growth parameters. The effects of the intervention extend to other children in the home; since the approach is highly educational, parents learn how to care for other children and prevent this from occurring subsequently.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, and no risks for treatment exists.

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

Treatment for malnutrition is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. Populations are rural and don’t have access to intensive nutritional intervention and education. Public sector approaches are too low intensity to make a difference for these children.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives to our program. Many organizations and governmental entities provide basic preventative care, but once a child is already malnourished these approaches are no longer effective. Most children fail prevention and therefore need our help.

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.