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!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cumpleanos Feliz!

March 15 is Deysi's birthday...and what a birthday!  Turning 8 is a big deal...and lots of people helped her to really have a special day.

First, presents at breakfast (note the Cheerios--we have a cereal convert, folks!!)

Then, a fun party with Mrs. Sarubbi's second grade class at St. Paul's School (thanks so much to Mrs. Sarubbi, Mrs. Chrisman and all the wonderful second graders for such a special treat!)

Some amazing presents from the teachers and kids (note tiara!!) :)

Sporting our St. Pauls School hats! 

Later, we had a great visit with our wonderful friends Therese and John Sheehan (Tia Teresa and Tio John!)

Dad, Deysi and Therese playing "Trouble"

Everyone at dinner (the beautiful flowers were a gift from John and Therese for Deysi)

Pesque!  (Go Fish)

Birthday cake! 
(please ignore obnoxiously loud singing on my part--that's what happens when you're closest to the mic!)

I LOVE this picture!

Tio John, Deysi and Tia Teresa :)

Some more really fun presents...

Including THIS funny thing!!!

Showing off my photo album (thanks, Madrina Melia, Michelle and Andrea!)

Then today (Wednesday), my sister Beth came to visit and we had lots of fun playing and showing off our reading skills and spending a little birthday money at Target!

Another round of "Trouble" and fascinated by the dice "bubble"

 And tonight we had a lovely dinner with my good friends Lindsay and Chip and their kids, Lila and Cooper.  The turkey meatloaf and muffins got two thumbs up (I'm not kidding--Deysi ate three muffins!!!) and we had a great time playing lacrosse and holding the baby and using the magnadoodle (and we old folk got to talk, which we always seem to like to do...)

Deysi, Cooper and Lila

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to Melia, our dear volunteer, who shares her birthday with her Goddaughter Deysi, and to Yolanda who turned 16!

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