Maria Deysi's Story...


Maria Deysi Aguilar was born on March 15th, 2003, in Okinawa, Bolivia (in the department, or state, of Santa Cruz). She is her mother's third child and only girl. When she was three months old, her mother left their dwelling (a wooden structure with a tarp roof) to look for food, leaving Deysi and her two older brothers alone. As it was a cold night, she had left the embers of their cooking fire burning. A stray spark made it up to the tarp, which caught fire and began to melt and drip onto the dirt floor of their home, where Deysi was sleeping, wrapped in a blanket. The only exposed parts of her body (her face and hands) were severely burned by the burning, liquid plastic of the tarp. By the grace of God, Deysi and her mother made it to the city of Santa Cruz (a two-hour drive) and Deysi spent four months in the burn center at the city's childrens hospital. After two skin grafts and many weeks of painful recovery, she was finally released, but after realizing that she was unable to adequately care for her daughter, Deysi's mother chose to place her in the girls orphanage "Hogar Sagrado Corazon" (Sacred Heart Home) in Montero, shortly before Deysi's second birthday.

How is she now?


Deysi is now 10 years old and will start fifth grade in March. She still lives in the childrens home "Hogar Sagrado Corazon" and is well loved by all. She has a sweet disposition and a quick, easy smile. She is doing well in school and is a hard worker, not easily frustrated and generally well behaved. She has been blessed by more frequent visits from her mother and brothers recently and continues to rekindle the bond that she has with them.

Her skin is completely healed (and has been for some time now) but the effects of the burn are still very noticeable. Deysi has never been self-conscious about her differences, but is approaching an age where those differences will start to matter more. In 2014, thanks to the generosity of Shriner's Children’s Hospital in Boston, and the skill and dedication of their professionals, she has undergone a second surgical procedure (on January 27th). This most recent surgery removed the nail bed of the thickened fingernail on her left hand and grafted skin from her leg onto the back of her left hand, allowing more movement in her fingers and replacing a portion of the scarred skin with her own healthy skin. She has also undergone the first of a series of laser procedures to gradually lighten the areas of (darker) grafted skin on her face. We are so grateful to Shriner's Hospital and to all those who have contributed to allow this second trip to become a reality!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Off to La Paz...

Deysi´s mother, Juana, and I head off to La Paz tomorrow afternoon.  Our visa interview will be on Thursday at 10:30 am.  Today we finally got the photo right--ears showing, no bangs, white background...etc...

She kept wanting to smile and the man taking the photo kept telling her to not show her teeth--hence the cute half-smile.  :)

Please keep us and the embassy officers in your prayers as we take this next step!

I will post here once we know!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

And now...a visa interview date:

Feb. 3rd at 10:30am at the US Embassy in La Paz...with Deysi´s mom!  We´re working out the details of when to go and where to stay and so grateful that we´re moving forward.  Once we get the visa (prayers, please!) we will start looking into plane tickets.  Wow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We have the letter!

Sandra Mariana and Deysi

After a bit of confusion regarding exactly where the super-important LETTER OF INVITATION from Shriner´s had gotten to...I finally got my hands on it this afternoon!!  It had, in fact, made its way from Princeton, NJ, to Kentucky, to...where else, Mom? the UPS office in Santa Cruz to the Hogar, despite being addressed to our convent two blocks away and despite the fact that I had called the UPS office and told them to hold it for me and that I would go and pick it up; it was then received by Sra. Margoth (the "door woman" at the hogar), handed over to the sisters and disappeared for a few hours...yikes!  But not to had just gotten swept up with other papers in the Hogar office but was quickly found! 
Tomorrow I make the all-important phone call to the US Embassy regarding Deysi´s visa interview (which I have to attend, but she doesn´t).  Prayers, please, that it´s sooner rather than later (also feel free to pray that they give her, oh, a 50-year visa right of the bat!!)
We also discovered that the flight permission form (that allows me to fly out of the country with Deysi, despite not being her legal guardian) has expired, but will not be too difficult to re-do, so we´ll be working on that.

More updates to follow...  :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We have a date!!!

We have a surgery date from Shriners:

March 28th, 2011!!!

We are praising God for His faithfulness and forever grateful to Shriner´s Childrens Hospital and to all those who have supported Deysi´s journey so far. 

Please continue to pray for all the preparations that have to happen in the next months and for peace in Deysi´s heart regarding the trip and the surgery (and mine, too!!).  Contributions are still needed for our travel costs and possibly meds once in the US, so if you feel led to contribute, we would be grateful for your support.

I will be posting any new developments here.

In God´s Love,
Sr. Anna Kupin