Maylennie’s Story: Recovering from Malnutrition

Maylennie’s Story: Recovering from Malnutrition

Maylennie is 23 months old, born in November 2014. Her mother was 22 years old when she was pregnant with Maylennie and her twin, who passed away when just four months old. Maylennie is her 4th child.

Maylennie’s father lives in the Dominican Republic and works part-time. He can rarely afford to send money to his family. Maleynnie’s mother does not have a job and must care for her four children on her own. She says that she often does not have enough money to feed herself and all her children, but she must do the best with what she has.

Since birth, Maylennie has experienced many health issues. She was first hospitalized at two months for weight loss and skin infections, but her health never improved. Her mother went to many hospitals and spent a lot on her care, but could not find a treatment that worked.

Maylennie was the first child to join our malnutrition program on August 24, 2016. On her first day, she weighed 14.9 pounds (6.8 kg), had a height of 64 cm and an arm circumference of 11. She had edema on her feet and legs and was severely malnourished. During her second week, her edema diminished and she weighed only 11.4 pounds (5.2 kg).

After 12 weeks in the program, Maylennie reached her goal weight and now weighs 19 pounds (8.6 kg). Her mother sees a significant difference in her child, physically and psychologically. She is now much more playful and less shy. She smiles and interacts with other family members, and even strangers which she never used to do. In fact, her mother said that she put on so much weight that, in the last weeks of the program, she could not walk to the clinic while carrying her because she was heavier. Instead, she had to take a moto taxi.

With the personalized education that Maylennie’s mother received every week on nutrition, health, and hygiene, we are hopeful that Maylenie will keep progressing. We will visit her in three months for a follow up to monitor her health and growth development.

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