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Success! Norma from Guatemala raised $595 to manage severe asthma.

Norma
100%
  • $595 raised, $0 to go
$595
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Norma's treatment was fully funded on December 1, 2015.

Photo of Norma post-operation

December 23, 2015

Norma received treatment for her severe asthma.

“Norma has been responding well to medication and now her asthma is under control,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK) shares.

With their new education and ability to manage her asthma, her mother shares that she no longer feels scared for her child. “Now, she says she understands more about Norma’s condition and can see that her health has dramatically improved,” WK adds.

“Norma is now running and playing with the other kids without fear that she will have an asthma attack that cannot be treated,” WK continues. “Her inhaler is always by her side, and she feels more comfortable to just be a kid.”

“I am not scared anymore. I can do whatever I want, run and play soccer, I am not afraid that I won’t be able to breathe,” Norma shares. “Thank you to whomever made this possible.”

"Norma has been responding well to medication and now her asthma is under control," our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK) shares. With t...

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November 19, 2015

Meet Norma, a 10-year-old girl from Guatemala. “Norma is in second grade and loves physical education class, but wishes she could play more,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK).

Norma has severe asthma, and she regularly experiences asthma attacks. “She cannot play with the other kids, and, even when she feels well, she fears that if she joins them for a soccer match or a run around the coffee fields, she will have an attack,” WK says.

Norma has gone several years without treatment. Her father works as a construction worker and her mother tends to the house, and they are unable to afford any treatment.

For $595, Norma will receive an inhaler and the medication necessary to help her control her asthma. “She will no longer need to live in fear of having an asthma attack in front of her friends, and will be able to exercise freely,” reports WK.

Norma, who dreams of becoming a teacher, tells us, “I just want to run like a normal kid. I like watching fútbol (soccer), but playing is more fun.”

Meet Norma, a 10-year-old girl from Guatemala. “Norma is in second grade and loves physical education class, but wishes she could play more,...

Read more

Norma's Timeline

  • November 19, 2015
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Norma was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • November 26, 2015
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Norma 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.

  • December 1, 2015
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Norma's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 1, 2015
    FULLY FUNDED

    Norma's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 23, 2015
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Norma's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 donors

Treatment
Acute Asthma
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Without treatment, severe asthma can lead to chronic chest pain, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These symptoms limit a patient's physical activity and ability to attend school. In the most severe cases, an asthma attack can be life-threatening if it obstructs airflow through the lungs.

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

In severe cases, this condition is life-threatening. In moderate cases, it causes chronic pain and shortness of breath. It can also be socially isolating for children, as they cannot participate in physical activities.

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

Asthma is less common in Guatemala than in the United States. The hygiene hypothesis postulates that children who are exposed early to many pathogens are less likely to be “allergic.” In the United States, where there is little such exposure, the rates of asthma, dermatitis, and other “allergic conditions” are on the rise.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Once the patient is brought to Wuqu' Kawoq (WK) with severe asthma, the staff works to obtain the necessary supplies and establish a treatment plan to stabilize the patient's condition and get his or her lung function back on track. WK educates the family and patient and provides emergency supplies for use in the home. WK works intensively with the patient for one month to standardize and optimize his or her daily asthma medications. By this time, the patient is usually symptom-free or nearly symptom-free. After this intensive treatment, funded by Watsi, WK provides ongoing periodic checkups.

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

This treatment saves lives and stabilizes families. Controlling asthma prevents life-threatening respiratory attacks. It also helps the family to develop a reasonable and effective treatment plan. Without this treatment package, parents spend a lot of time and money looking for effective treatments. Asthma control allows children to perform better in school and engage in physical activity.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Asthma is very treatable. Although asthma is not “cured,” it can be effectively controlled with simple, standardized medical techniques. For the majority of children, symptoms improve over time. In fact, many older children no longer require medications. Side effects are incredibly rare, but include yeast infections of the mouth and hoarseness.

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

For two reasons, this treatment is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. First, there is very limited expertise in asthma treatment. Second, many providers prescribe very expensive, branded medications that are no more effective than generic medications. This practice sets families up for financial ruin, because it makes them dependent on medications that they need but cannot afford. Wuqu' Kawoq sets families up with affordable treatment plans.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives. Most hospitals and doctors who treat asthma in Guatemala only treat the “acute” episodes and attacks. They do not prescribe preventative treatments that control the disease and prevent future attacks.

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Yoon

Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”

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41%funded
$616raised
$884to go
Costance

Costance is a 52-year-old primary teacher from southwestern Uganda. She is a mother to three children, two of whom are already married, and the youngest is in in the sixth grade. Costance's husband is a retired builder and has a cancer-related condition that prevents him from working. Costance's family can afford only the day-to-day essentials on her teaching salary. Costance is near retirement, but her medical condition may end her career early if not treated. Several years ago, Costance began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling, difficulties in speech, and coughing. These long-term symptoms have now affected her profession as a teacher making it difficult for Costance speak loud enough for students to hear. Costance is troubled by this as teaching is the only source of income for her family. Costance was diagnosed with a Thyroid Goiter and is at risk of having airway obstruction if not treated soon. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Costance receive necessary treatment. Constance is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 29th where surgeons will remove part of her thyroid gland. AMH is helping Costance and her family raise $252 to cover the cost of the procedure. Costance says,"I no longer sleep well these days as I sometimes stop breathing to the extent I feel like I am dying. I will be very grateful when my condition is treated soonest so that I may resume my profession."

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Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Yoon

Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”

41% funded

41%funded
$616raised
$884to go