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, May 5, 2011

Wegmans, the dentist and Beth!

We've been living "life as usual" around here...enjoying beautiful Princeton spring that gets more lovely with each passing day and finding fun things to do and enjoying visits with dear friends.

One rainy day we went out to Wegmans for lunch.  I couldn't resist a photo--this is for you, Mom and Dad Cole!!

She had been complaining on and off about a tooth that was hurting and we were able to get an appointment at the dentists office that I went to growing up (and where my family still goes!)--he took us right away and it was bad enough that she needed a root canal!  Yikes!  She was quite brave but there were some definite tears (I don't blame her!).  She got through it, though, and got TWO prizes from the prize chest: a wiffle ball set (big hit!) and a silly glasses with mustache that wiggles if you wind it up.  :)
This was when we first arrived and she got her cool shades--the rest of the visit was a little too hard for pictures. 

On a separate and amazing note--they did all their work for free and didn't charge us a cent!!  What a blessing!

On Saturday we had a visit from our dear volunteer Beth Stafford and we went to Communiversity--a university-sponsored event with lots of fun games, great food and LOTS of people on the main streets of Princeton.  We had a great day and went back home a little tired but happy!

Someone got their face painted like a butterfly...

...and someone else got a flower!

We enjoyed watching the ballet demonstrations, too!

On Sunday, Beth's mom and sister came to visit and we took a nice walk along the towpath. 

On a separate note, I want to make sure that I add that we had a WONDERFUL visit with Kathleen Lafferty and her family (Kathleen was also a volunteer at the Hogar a few years ago) but the only pictures that were taken (incidentally, by Miss Deysi herself, since I was having too much fun to remember to go and get the camera, but she always remembers!) got accidentally erased from our camera.  There may not be any pictures to document it, be we had such fun! 

We leave tomorrow for Maryland to visit with my aunt and uncle (and swim in the hotel pool--the most important part of the trip for someone!).  We may stay over the weekend to visit with friends if I can get my act together and get in touch!

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