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!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

There and back again


We loved staying with Jill and Ben and their family, and will be back there again Monday - Wednesday of the coming week...
Deysi with Ryan, their newest addition

Deysi, Avery and Connor

A giant game of connect four!

Playing with a new friend

We also visited the sisters in Cresson, PA, and had a lovely, though short, visit.  Mother General (superior of all the SSCJ sisters in the world!) was visiting from Poland, and we were able to spend some time with her and her secretary, Sr. Sebastiana.

Deysi playing Bingo! with the residents of our home for the elderly, the John Paul II Manor

(l-r: me, Sr. Sebastiana, Mother General, Deysi, Sr. Frances Claire, Sr. Miriam Joseph and Sr. Margaret Mary)


With Sr. Maria and our novices

With Dusty, guardian of our novitiate

In front of our novitiate

Thanks for the donuts, Sr. Claudiana!

You might notice that in the first pictures she is still sporting the hand brace, but the more recent ones show off her new (blue!) pressure glove, which she really loves.  Which is good, because she'll be wearing it for the next 6 months!

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