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!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another day, another park!

This morning we helped clean the house a bit (the vacuum is such an interesting thing!) and, after lunch, headed out to the Riverside School playground.  It's a bit bigger than the one at the end of the street and I of course had to tell Deysi about how I used to go to school there (more disbelief--is it really possible that I was once in elementary school??).  She tolerated the stories patiently and loved the park.  :) 

"Helping" Dad with next week's homily
(For all you St. Paul's folks out there--don't be surprised if it is largely about squirrels!)

Twisty slide!

Another zip line, one I can get on by myself!

Hey, Madre--you're upside-down!

I always wondered why they called them monkey bars!!

Yeah, kid, this is about as close to palm trees as you're gonna get in Jersey...

We didn't know what this funky thing was for until we saw another kid do it (I actually thought it was a ghetto zip line--kids are just so much smarter than we are!)

Proof that Dad watched the Tinkerbell Movie

Hey--I'm getting better at this!  Maybe National Geographic will hire me if I loose my day job...

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