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Success! Alan from Guatemala raised $512 to fund malnutrition treatment.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Alan's treatment was fully funded on December 14, 2016.

Photo of Alan post-operation

August 18, 2017

Alan underwent malnutrition treatment.

Since starting treatment for malnutrition, Alan has been gaining weight and growing taller. Before starting in the nutrition program Alan’s mother had been worried about her son’s growth, so she brought him to the local health center, but they could not help. Now that she is a part of the program and Alan is receiving treatment, Alan’s mother is happy to see him growing and getting healthier.

Alan’s mother says, “I am very grateful for this valiant effort you have made with my son. It has all helped so much. Alan is growing and eating well now, and I have learned a lot. I am very happy.”

You may have noticed that this update was published a long time after this patient’s treatment date. We recently fixed a bug in our system that was causing a backup of some old updates, and we apologize for the delay!

Since starting treatment for malnutrition, Alan has been gaining weight and growing taller. Before starting in the nutrition program Alan’s ...

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November 14, 2016

Alan is a ten-month-old boy from Guatemala who love to play with balls. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. He is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Alan began malnutrition treatment on November 14, 2016.

Alan lives with his mother in rural Guatemala. His mother works washing clothes, but her income is small. While she wants the best for her son, her resources are already stretched thin. She cannot afford to pay for his $512 treatment.

While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Alan recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Alan a chance to grow healthy and strong.

Alan’s mother says, “I dream that when my son is big, he will be a doctor.”

Alan is a ten-month-old boy from Guatemala who love to play with balls. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has lit...

Read more

Alan's Timeline

  • November 14, 2016

    Alan was submitted by Cate Hendren, Complex Care Coordinator at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 21, 2016

    Alan's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 14, 2016

    Alan's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 20, 2017

    Alan 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 18, 2017

    Alan's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 9 donors

Funded by 9 donors

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

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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.