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!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The latest news...

We had a lovely visit with the Chalifoux family (our volunteer Olivia's parents) and after such yummy food, romps in the woods and new light-up sneakers ("beautiful!"), we had to say good bye. 

We were at Shriners by 1:30pm and boy was it full!  There must have been at least 20 families there.  Dr. Donelan came in to see Deysi after the suture tape had been removed and seemed quite pleased with how things look.  You really can see the difference in the sites they worked on and we are so grateful.  The wonderful nurses were able to remove one set of stitches but Deysi got too upset for them to try the others (it's no fun having stitches out, folks!).  So we will go back on Friday and have them taken out with partial sedation as an outpatient.  We will hopefully get a date for our return visit (in approximately 2 weeks) so that Dr. Donelan can see how everything has healed and fill us in on his next step. 

Half of us are now sleeping soundly here in Hopkinton (the other half will hit the hay shortly!) where we have had a wonderful but way-too-short visit with Mom and Dad Cole (my college roomate and soul sister Dana's parents) in Hopkinton.  We will spend one more night with Auntie Donna, Willy and "My-yuls" tomorrow and be that much closer to the city for our 7:30am appointment on Friday.  We'll then see how she is feeling in the afternoon and either head straight back to NJ or rest up and head home on Saturday morning.

No pictures today because the camera was temporarily lost in Deysi's new shoe box (!!).  :)

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