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!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lions and Ice Cream and Snow...oh my!

We've been having so much fun! 

We stayed with my dear friend Jill, her husband Ben and their adorable daughter Avery, on Tuesday and Wednesday, and had a great time!  On Wednesday we went to the Franklin Park Zoo with Jill and Avery...

Ostrich, Deysi, Anna 
(Madre Rosario--esta es especialmente para usted!)

BIG lion--he roared a couple of times while we watched--amazing!

Counting turtles

Deysi, Avery and Jill on the little bridge by the turtles

Can you see the snake, Avery?

Napping (Pygmy) Hippo

Gorillas were our favorite
(if you look really close you can see the brand new baby on mama's leg--so cute!!)

Closer shot of mama and baby

In one of the trains in the little park (since we have yet to meet a park we don't like!)

What zoo trip would be complete without ice cream?  :)
(And, can you believe that Deysi's ice cream is a "kids size"??)

Let me help you buckle Pooh in, Avery

Checkin' out the window stickers

On Thursday, we drove north to Haverhill, where our former hogar volunteer Olivia is working at the L'Arche community here.  We have had a great visit with her...

Taking a walk around the lake near her house...


Having yummy home made English Muffin pizza with Carole, the woman she lives and works with...

...and playing in the couple of inches of snow we got last night!
(Olivia, Deysi, giant snowball, Pat--another volunteer in the community)

While they played, I worked on a ghetto snowman.  :) 
Deysi humored me by having her picture taken with him.

Tomorrow we head down to Westport for some more visiting and adventures and then back up north on Sunday to get ready for our post-op on Wednesday.

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