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Success! Sandy from Guatemala raised $512 for life-saving malnutrition treatment.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Sandy's treatment was fully funded on June 24, 2016.
October 17, 2016

Sandy successfully received life-saving treatment for malnutrition.

Growth monitoring, food supplements, vitamins, and deworming medication have helped Sandy get back on track to reach a healthy height and weight for her age. She has been steadily gaining weight and growing taller, putting her closer to a healthy height and weight with every visit! Her mother said the best thing she has noticed is how Sandy likes to play more, and is even pretending to cook the food supplements she gets with her cousin! We are confident that Sandy will continue to follow this positive trajectory in the coming months of her treatment.

“I did not know anything about what kids should eat until my daughter started in this program,” shares Sandy’s mother, “Now I am so happy because I see the difference in my daughter’s growth because of this program.”

Growth monitoring, food supplements, vitamins, and deworming medication have helped Sandy get back on track to reach a healthy height and we...

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May 31, 2016

“Sandy is more than three standard deviations below the normal size for her age. Her mother has noticed that she is not growing as well and is worried. Her lack of calories, protein, and nutrients have also made her mental development slow–she is having a hard time learning how to talk,” reports our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK).

“Sandy’s immune defenses have been weakened by her poor diet, leaving her with frequent fevers, coughs, and cases of diarrhea, which put her life in danger and take away all her energy. In the long term, she could face issues such as mental deficiencies, behavioral problems, chronic disease, and low earning potential as an adult if she does not receive treatment,” explains WK.

“Sandy is the first child in her family, and her mother just had another little girl. Sandy loves to play with her dolls and is excited to be an older sister. Her mother works at home taking care of the children, and her father works as an assistant to a bricklayer as well as a day laborer in a plantation. They have a meager and inconsistent income. Although they make sacrifices to give their daughter the best they can, there are many days when all they have to give Sandy is breastmilk,” continues WK.

“Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Sandy recover–saving her life now and putting her on track to live a better life in the future. She will gain weight and grow taller. Her immune system will grow stronger, which will further increase her appetite and help her use the extra calories to develop mentally. Her mother will receive support to give Sandy the diet she needs to grow and develop healthily,” explains WK.

Sandy’s mother shares, “I dream that my daughter will grow well so that one day she can have good development with her studies.”

"Sandy is more than three standard deviations below the normal size for her age. Her mother has noticed that she is not growing as well and ...

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Sandy's Timeline

  • May 31, 2016

    Sandy was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • June 3, 2016

    Sandy 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.

  • June 19, 2016

    Sandy's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 24, 2016

    Sandy's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 17, 2016

    Sandy's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 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.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.