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.