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Success! Erwin from Guatemala raised $1,107 to fund nutritional supplementation.

  • $1,107 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Erwin's treatment was fully funded on December 15, 2016.

Photo of Erwin post-operation

March 7, 2017

Erwin received nutritional supplementation.

Erwin’s treatment has been very successful. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), shares, “Erwin has been gaining weight and growing taller” since his mother’s lactation failure led the family to seek nutritional treatment.

Erwin’s mother describes her son as a “smiley, active baby,” whom she hopes will keep growing well and eventually study to become a teacher one day. With continued treatment, WK is confident that Erwin will continue to hit his developmental milestones and thrive.

“I am so grateful to the organization for the support we are being given. Thank you to the donors for your support because we do not have the resources to buy formula ourselves. May God bless you all, always,” Erwin’s mother says.

Erwin's treatment has been very successful. Our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), shares, "Erwin has been gaining weight and growing taller...

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November 16, 2016

Erwin is a four-month-old boy from Guatemala. He is the youngest of two children. He lives with his parents and his older sister in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. His mother takes care of him and his sister. His father works in the fields, searching for firewood to sell in their village.

Erwin is still only the size of a healthy two-month-old. His mother has been unable to produce sufficient breastmilk, leaving him without the protein, calories, and nutrients he needs to grow bigger and stronger. Lactational failure can also cause delays in his cognitive and motor development.

Fortunately, Erwin began nutritional supplementation on November 17. His parents are also receiving in-home motivational nutrition education. Erwin will gain weight, and his family will have tools to prevent future cases of malnutrition.

Now, Erwin’s family needs help to fund this $1,107 procedure.

“We worry about our son not getting what he needs,” says Erwin’s mother. “All we want for him is to grow healthy, without any problems, and in the future to be able to study and be able to work in a good job. We are so appreciative for your help with our son.”

Erwin is a four-month-old boy from Guatemala. He is the youngest of two children. He lives with his parents and his older sister in a one-ro...

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Erwin's Timeline

  • November 16, 2016

    Erwin was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 17, 2016

    Erwin 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.

  • November 21, 2016

    Erwin's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 15, 2016

    Erwin's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 7, 2017

    Erwin's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Lactational Failure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,107 for Erwin'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.