In our land of plenty, it can be hard to imagine children dying of malnutrition. But in some parts of the world, this is a part of daily life.

Lismarlin, a young girl from rural Nicaragua, was slowly regressing after a month with diarrhea and a few days of vomiting. Her family carried her several hours out to a gravel road where they caught a bus and rode for an hour and a half to reach the CAM clinic. Lismarlin arrived at the clinic severely dehydrated and very lethargic. Tests showed that she had three different kinds of parasites.

Lismarlin had been eating dirt. “This [malnutrition] case was more related to the lack of sanitation and hygiene, although many cases happen because the family lacks money to buy enough food,” reported Joanne Yoder, the nurse at CAM’s Balm of Gilead Clinic.

Our staff gave Lismarlin Pedialyte, an essential drink that helps children regain nutrients and electrolytes they lost through vomiting and diarrhea. When Lismarlin threw it up, they sent her to a hospital. But she received limited care and was back at the clinic in a few weeks, weighing less than when she first arrived.

Although the staff continue to give her Pedialyte and nutritional milk and are doing all they can to help, it is questionable whether Lismarlin will survive. “This child is barely alive,” said Joanne. “I cannot imagine the mother’s thoughts. I am content to know that God, the Great Physician, can heal this child miraculously, or allow a quiet and peaceful death to erase all her suffering.”

Lismarlin is one of thousands of children barely hanging on to life. While the help of nutrition and medicines comes too late for some, many lives have been spared, thanks to you, our generous supporters.

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