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Malnutrition and Recovery in the Canyon

Check out this sweet smile from a little Tarahumara boy who just spent a week in our pediatric malnutrition program. He had acquired infectious diarrhea from contaminated drinking water. By the time our missionary pilot flew him in, he was in hypovolemic shock. My own heart skipped a beat when I discovered that his dangerously low potassium level (1.7) was causing EKG abnormalities. Sadly, this little boy suffered from Kwashiorkor- a form of protein deficiency malnutrition common in the canyon.

Our hospital staff began the tedious process of mixing specialized formula and feeding him every two hours around the clock. Cecy, our amazing Tarahumara nutrition assistant, met with the parents and taught them about clean water, basic hygiene, and healthy foods. Thankfully, he slowly regained his strength. All of the energy we’d poured into this process was well worth it.

One of my favorite things about treating these tiny heroes is watching a little boy have the strength to throw a ball again, or witnessing a girl who was so starved she couldn’t walk reach for her dad’s hand and step outside to play. We thank God for his miraculous recovery! It wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated team of hospital staff, community health workers, mission pilots, pastors, airplane mechanics, and faithful partners who pray for these kids and give to the work in Mexico. Thank you!

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