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, March 7, 2011


And we´re off!!  (Tomorrow, that is.)

Today we stayed at home, watched a movie (Deysi), worked on the computer (Sr. Anna) and got things into suitcases (including the toothbrush, which we discovered when we tried to brush our teeth tonight--oops!).  :)

Tomorrow we´re off bright and early to get a head start on the check-in line.  Madre Rosario has graciously offered to drive us to the airport (she always does!) and our flight leaves at 10:10.  Prayers, please, for a safe flight and nothing too out of the ordinary.

I leave you with a cute shot from last night´s Carnaval party here at the hogar.  Deysi next to her "twin" Ruth Mery (they´re actually almost half a year apart but they sure act like twins...and, as Melia, our wonderful volunteer, pointed out to me, they also fight like twins!!).  Anyi and Naimelín can be seen behind them (along with the rest of their dormitory, Santa Ana, as they wait for the outcome of the "queen contest" that is a tradition for us each Carnaval).

Next post from the good ol´ US of A!

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