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Success! Dany from Guatemala raised $512 to treat his acute malnutrition.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Dany's treatment was fully funded on June 9, 2016.

Photo of Dany post-operation

October 17, 2016

Dany was successfully treated for acute malnutrition.

Dany has been gaining weight steadily since he started treatment for malnutrition. His mother says that he is smiling more now, and that he has not gotten sick very often when before he used to be sick almost constantly. Food supplements, deworming medication, growth monitoring, and vitamins have given Dany the boost he needs to reach a healthy height and weight and encourage healthy development. In the coming months, we are confident that Dany will continue to grow and develop - giving him the chance to live a healthy and full life.

“We are very appreciative for the support that you have provided to our son,” says Dany’s parents, “because without it we would not have been able to give him what he needs.”

Dany has been gaining weight steadily since he started treatment for malnutrition. His mother says that he is smiling more now, and that he ...

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May 10, 2016

“I want to have what’s necessary to provide a good diet to Dany, so he will grow like he should for his age,” shares the mother of 10-month-old Dany.

Dany lives with his four siblings and his parents in a small home in a rural community in the Guatemalan highlands. Dany’s family is very humble and lacks the resources to buy much more than corn tortillas to eat. His mother takes care of the children, cooks, and cleans, and weaves traditional Mayan blouses, which she sells. His father looks for firewood in the mountains, and then makes charcoal to sell. Although Dany is malnourished, he is a very smiley child, and loves to play with teddy bears with his sister. His favorite food is beans, although his family rarely has the resources to give them to him.

Dany is having a hard time growing, and now has acute malnutrition because his family is unable to give him the diet he needs to be healthy. For this reason, Dany is far too small for his age and his immune system has weakened from the lack of protein, calories, and nutrients. Since Dany’s immune defenses are compromised, getting sick with a cough, diarrhea, or fever could be life-threatening. In the long term, he could face stunted neurodevelopment, low IQ, and increased risk of chronic diseases if his malnutrition is not treated.

Although Dany is very sick, treatment for his malnutrition is simple. For $512, his parents will receive in-home nutrition classes to teach them about what diet Dany needs to be healthy. He will be a part of Wuqu’ Kawoq’s growth monitoring program and will receive food supplements and micronutrients to improve his diet. This treatment will give Dany the chance to be a healthy baby, helping him grow, strengthen his immune system, and helping him avoid life-threatening seizures and diarrhea.

"I want to have what's necessary to provide a good diet to Dany, so he will grow like he should for his age," shares the mother of 10-month-...

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Dany's Timeline

  • May 10, 2016

    Dany was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • May 13, 2016

    Dany received treatment at Clinic Tecpán. 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.

  • June 05, 2016

    Dany's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 09, 2016

    Dany's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 17, 2016

    Dany's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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.