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Gustavo is a toddler from Guatemala who needs $1,500 to fund orchidopexy surgery.

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September 6, 2017

Meet two-year-old Gustavo. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles in rural Guatemala. Gustavo loves eating vegetables and porridge.

Gustavo has been diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a medical condition in which the testes remained undescended. Without surgery, Gustavo is at risk of developing a hernia, infertility, or testicular cancer.

On September 6, Gustavo will undergo an orchidopexy surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is asking for $1,500 in donations to fund Gustavo’s surgery and hospital stay. This amount will also cover travel and accommodation costs for his mother.

“I have no doubt that Gustavo will feel better after his surgery. I thank you with my entire heart for all this help you have given us. May God bless you all,” says Gustavo’s mother.

Meet two-year-old Gustavo. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles in rural Guatemala. Gustavo loves eating vegetables a...

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Gustavo's Timeline

  • September 6, 2017

    Gustavo was submitted by Hannah Shryer, Complex Care Coordinator/Research Intern at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • September 06, 2017

    Gustavo was scheduled to receive treatment at Hospital San Juan de Dios 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.

  • September 18, 2017

    Gustavo's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Gustavo is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Gustavo's treatment update from Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,766 for Gustavo's treatment
Subsidies fund $266 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Cryptorchidism occurs when the testicle has not moved into the scrotum before birth. Sometimes, this corrects itself within the first several months of life. However, if it does not, the treatment is a simple surgery to reposition the testicle into the scrotum.

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

To develop and function normally, testicles need to move to a slightly cooler temperature than normal body temperature. If this does not occur, the male may experience fertility issues, including low sperm count and poor sperm quality, as well as higher rates of testicular cancer. Also, they are at high risk for testicular torsion, when the spermatic cord twists and cuts off the blood supply to the testicle. Limitation in blood supply to the testicle may result in the need to remove the testicle. Cryptorchidism may lead to an inguinal hernia, which is when the opening between the inguinal canal and abdomen loosens to allow part of the intestines to move into the groin area. This causes extreme pain and discomfort.

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

Cryptorchidism occurs all over the world. It is especially common in premature males with an incidence rate of roughly 30%. Only 3% of full term infant males are born with cryptorchidism. However, for the majority of both premature and full term infants, the testicle descends on its own during the first year of life, leading to a true incidence rate of roughly 1%. The main difference in Guatemala is the lack of access to necessary surgical interventions to correct cryptorchidism. Individuals may have this condition for several years until they develop effects, such as an inguinal hernia, that are so painful that the need for treatment cannot be ignored.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The treatment for cryptorchidism is surgery, during which the surgeon places the testicle into the scrotum and stitches it into place. If the patient has an inguinal hernia due to the undescended testicle(s), it may be corrected during this surgery as well. It is either an open or laparoscopic surgery and generally requires one day in the hospital post-op.

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

This treatment allows the boy to live a normal childhood and adult life. He will no longer be at high risk of infertility or testicular cancer. He will not experience the extreme discomfort and pain of the inguinal hernia or pressure against the pubic bone.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is very treatable. This is a one-time surgery which, in the majority of cases, permanently addresses this condition. Risks are uncommon, but include excessive bleeding, severe pain, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia.

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

Most of the national hospitals have surgeons who can perform this procedure. In fact, our medical partner often uses these surgeons perform procedures for patients. The catch is that the hospitals and other institutions who perform these procedures may say they are free but then make up the cost of the procedure by charging patients for other — often unreasonable — things. Therefore, most of the time, patients still cannot afford to have the procedure done. Our medical partner works with patients to pay for the necessary preoperative testing and subsidize surgical fees, transportation, and lodging, so that patients can get on with their lives.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

The alternative for most patients is simply to forgo treatment and hope for the best.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Gerson is a young boy from Guatemala. He lives with his parents, grandparents, and twin brother in Guatemala's rural coastal area. He is an active, playful boy, and he loves to spend time painting and drawing. Gerson needs hernia surgery. Hernias occur when part of the intestines bulges through a weak area in the muscles of the stomach wall. Small hernias are often asymptomatic, though they tend to become larger over time, and then create bulges, discomfort, burning, and weakness. A few months ago, Gerson got sick with fever, body aches, and pain in his right leg, which continues to be a great bother to him. Without treatment, his hernia will likely grow, the likelihood that he may develop complications will increase, and his pain will increasingly limit his daily activities. Fortunately, surgery for hernias is very effective and often accomplished without even an overnight stay in the hospital. With $400 in funding, Gerson will receive the case management, medication, surgery, and labs he needs to get his hernia repaired. Surgery is scheduled for November 9. With this treatment, Gerson will be able to live without the pain and discomfort. He will continue going to school and playing with his twin brother. Gerson’s mother says, “My twins are the best gift I have ever received from God. I want nothing more than for my boy to be healthy. My sons are my reason to keep going. Please help me to get this surgery for my son, and I hope that God will repay you fully.”

13% funded

$345to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.