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 9, 2011

We're here!!

We made it!  We arrived at about 1:30am and were home in bed by almost 3:00!  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)  But we did sleep almost the whole flight from Miami to Philly (and someone fell asleep before we even boarded the plane!).   Both flights were delayed, but not too badly, and we made it through immigration and security without too much trouble.  I'm thinking I should take her with me every time--I look so much less sketchy, apparantly, with a cute kid in tow!   (What I wouldn't do to take her or any of my girls home with me every time I go!)

We took a walk to the store this morning with my mom and enjoyed a little snack, and then went to Mass and received ashes at midday.  Now we're relaxing a little, watching "Barbie Swan Lake" (it's really not quite as bad as it sounds!) and I'm hoping we'll make an early night of it since little miss's internal clock doesn't let her sleep much past 7:00am, no matter what time we go to bed! 

Here are some pictures of our long journey.  Thanks for all the prayers and best wishes--we felt them all day long!

With Madre Dorotea and Madre Rosario heading into the airport

Off we go!

Hasta pronto!

Waiting for take-off

This flying thing is exhausting!  (Gracias, Madre Doro, por la almohada!)

Stylin' in Miami

Our big plane (we love you, American Airlines!)

Helping me lace my sneakers this morning (excuse the messy room--we haven't really unpacked yet!)

With Mom at Princeton Shopping Center

Our little butterfly

We liked this rooster in the window of a Chinese Restaurant
(and I thought of you, Mrs. O'Connor, and your love for roosters!)

Our little snack (those that know me well understand my ear-to-ear smile, even if she is helping me drink it!)

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