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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update - settled into the hospital

Hi all! This is Anna's sister Beth, updating the blog while Anna and Deysi are in the hospital (which is apparently also an internet dead zone). Here's the update from Anna:

Deysi has been admitted to the hospital, and everyone on staff has been really nice and helpful. They're both sleeping there tonight; there's a fold-out bed in Deysi's room for Anna to sleep on, and overall the facilities seem really nice. Apparently they're on the 7th floor, and the view of Boston is amazing! They had to do a bit of prep already, and while it wasn't so much fun, Deysi seems to be handling it pretty well.

The procedure will happen tomorrow, and here's a brief summary of Deysi's schedule:
* 6am: prep starts
* 8am: go to the surgery area
* 8:30-9am: tentative start time for surgery
* noon: tentative end time for surgery

After this there will be some recovery time spent in and around Boston. How much exactly is still pretty flexible, but Anna estimates 3 days of recovery in the hospital, and maybe as much as two weeks in the area.

Unless there's a sudden wifi connection extravaganza in the hospital, it may be me posting brief updates for these days of recovery. I'll post tomorrow morning, when I get the text that the surgery has started, and then also when I know the results. But please don't be concerned if the results post takes a little while to arrive - I know I won't be able to update the blog between noon and 5pm (I'll be teaching), and it may be even later on my end.

Finally, I almost forgot the most important thing! There have been lots of people who have volunteered places for them to stay, lots of people who have wanted to get involved, and lots prayers; they make a big difference. Anna wanted me to be sure to thank everyone. =)

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