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 5, 2011

Ready for take-off!

I now have a pint-sized fugitive here with me at "Santa Clara"! 

I went and picked Deysi up from the Hogar yesterday afternoon, after having spent some time with her classroom teacher yesterday getting briefed on what they will be doing for the next three months and picking up her Language Arts and Math workbooks.  It has been decided that she will be able to move up to third grade next year, as long as she can keep up with her class once she returns in June (because, apparantly, three months is usually more time than they permit a student to be absent and still move on to the next grade).  So, we´re going to work on more or less the same lessons in her workbooks that her classmates are working on back here, and practice lots of reading and writing and ´rithmatic while were away.  She´s such a quickie I don´t think it will be too hard to keep her caught up--she may very well even surpass the rest of the bunch, as she´s always asking questions and I think the one-on-one will be great for her!  She´s super inquisitive and last night we were counting by fives and then looking at my alarm clock and figuring out what time it!

We did the first of many critter hunts in her hair and while, yes, we found a few, there weren´t too many.  :)  We´ll be doing that every night until we fly.  Mom--keep that kit handy for when we arrive--we´ll still do a few more nights once we´re in the US, and I think the good metal comb will be even better than this plastic one we have here.  Donna--I promise we´ll be critter-free by the time we go to see you!  :)  We also did some hershey kiss hair-dos (Beth--you know what that is all about!), foot-scrubbing (serious giggling insued) and story-reading (Three Little Pigs is a fav).  In a new bed and suddenly without her 29 other little sisters she had a bit of a hard time falling asleep but once she was out, that was it until 6am this morning!  She and I are sharing one of the "extra" rooms here--I could have had her sleep in one of the rooms with the older girls but I think it´s important for her to get used to the new set-up and the critter situation will be easier to handle if she´s not sleeping near others who might have more critters than she does!

I´ll be honest--having the luxury of all this one-on-one time with Deysi is so nice, but also makes me a bit sad that I can´t spend an hour each night with all of my little ones...there just aren´t enough hours in the day.  I´m grateful that we have wonderful staff members in the Hogar that do their best and, for now, I´m just thanking God for this opportunity with her and leaving the rest up to Him. 

No pics today because I´m trying to take advantage of some precious time to get loose ends tied up in my work before we leave.  I will say that the scene this morning when she woke up completely tangled up in her comforter warranted a photo, but the camera was upstairs and I didn´t want to push my luck.  :)

Please keep Deysi´s heart in your prayers.  She is very excited and we are counting down the days until we leave (literally!) but she is also going through a lot of big changes in a very short time and is saying good bye to lots of people she loves (including her mom tomorrow afternoon--keep Doña Juana in your prayers, too, as this is a bit hard for her).  Thank you to all who have helped make this possible.  We wouldn´t be here otherwise!!

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