Family of courage

Posted on 08. May, 2012 by

A story in the weekend edition of the Messenger features the resilience and courage of -year-old Lily Rose Morris. After doctors told her parents she wouldn’t be able to walk, talk or make it past age 3. Lily Rose, however, wasn’t given the memo. The 45-pound bundle of energy took her first steps last August. She has started murmuring sounds, sounds her family members firmly believe will be refined as words. And she will celebrate her sixth birthday July 6.

Very little stands in her way, and in her five short years of life, she’s overcome several odds. In speaking with her family, it is no surprise.

From a dad who survived a refinery explosion in which he burned — from head to toe — for two minutes six months after her birth, to a mother who stretched herself between tending to an ailing husband and sickly daughter, to a maternal grandmother who “played with death” — her family is filled with courage.

Maria Aguayo is a Chilean political refugee.

“We had a Sept. 11 of our own,” she said. “A military coup broke out, and I was taken prisoner to a concentration camp where I was tortured, beaten and raped.”

Aguayo escaped and fled to Texas, ending up in Dumas, where the family lived until they relocated to Decatur in 2009 to be closer to specialized medical care for Lily.

My jaw dropped, and I became intrigued to learn more. However, there’s only so much “serious” you can discuss at vibrant field day well-attended by smiling faces and excited competitors “in their element.”

But be looking for a story in future editions of the paper. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, read Lily’s story at

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