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!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Adventures in Boston and...Medford!

We've been trying to take advantage of our free time before the big day, filling our days with some fun and keeping our minds and bodies busy!

We took a trip to the New England Aquarium on Friday and enjoyed it even more than last time, if that's possible!  We got to see the penguins getting fed and the harbor seals getting trained and two divers move around the huge central tank.

The tropical tanks

The photo with the dolphin statue...check out the one from last time (below)--how she's grown!


Today (Saturday) we had lunch at Faneuil Hall with Angelica Rojas, who lived at Hogar Sagrado Corazon for a number of years when she was younger, and now lives in the Boston area.  She did a few months as a volunteer at the Hogar recently, and it was so nice to catch up with her!  
She went with us to a Tufts Ladies Basketball game on campus (in Medford) and the Jumbos trounced the Bates women, remaining undefeated so far this season!

Go Jumbos!

Angelica and Deysi after the game

We were able to sneak up to the Jills room, but didn't catch them practicing.
(I sang with the Jills, a female a cappella group, while at Tufts) .

And we took the mandatory photo on the President's Steps

We made our way to Sacred Heart Church in Cambridge for the evening mass.  It was beautiful and the faithful were wonderfully welcoming--the priest, choir and all those attending even came right over to the bench where we were sitting to pray for and with us during the homily!

Our Lord revealing His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

Now we're back in our room, resting and watching The Land Before Time.  We'll take it slow tomorrow, only venturing out for Sunday Mass at the same church at 11:00am.  We cherish your prayers and will post again once the surgery is over and we are back in our hotel room, as we cannot access the internet easily while in the hospital.  There is some question as to whether or not we will be spending the night in the hospital on Monday--all depends on how Deysi does in the hours after the surgery.  All is in God's loving hands and we are at peace knowing that He knows best.

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