Sunday, August 23, 2009

DAY 1 - MEXICO COMA

Hi to all our family and friends,

Just wanted everyone to know that yesterday at @ 4:00 PM , Jessica went into the ketamine coma and took the first step of her journey back to a new life, one that will hopefully be pain-free and restorative for her. It has been an amazing past 12 hours with a most AMAZING daughter - I have come to admire her more and more each day! I will try to blog again a little later with more details, but just wanted everyone to know that so far all is well. Continue to pray for Jessica, as she will need all of those prayers in the days ahead....

Love, Jessica's Mom

"For I will restore health unto thee...said the Lord".
Jeremiah 30:17

***CLICK ON COMMENTS below to Make a Comment***

28 comments:

Julie said...

We will continue to pray for Jessica as she travels through this journey.
Stay well and stay strong!!

Julie S.

Anonymous said...

Stay Strong!!!! You are in my prayers :) Crystal Ulmer

Aunt El said...

Our family has been praying for Jessica. We hope everything goes well and that she leads a normal, healthy life. Just know you are in our thoughts and prayers for Jessica,you, David and the girls. Love, Aunt El, Uncle Al and family

Angel said...

Hi Jessica and Gina, We are praying for you and thinking about you every day. We hope that you are comforted and encouraged by the realization that so many people love you and are praying for you. It is not so often in life that we get to know how people truly feel about us. We are inspired by your courage, determination, and faith. Hang in there!! Gina, sending you love and a great big hug! Love always, Angel

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina, We are praying for Jessica to shine through to a new life full of wonder. She is one of God's beautiful creations and i know she will be whole again soon. God bless and keep you both till she emerges and always. Love, Bonnie and family

Anonymous said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you. your courage and faith are an inspiration.
love Nancy Ernenwein

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs Stevens!

I am so glad to hear Jessica is finally on her way to regaining her life. We are all praying for her and I can't wait to one day sit together over dinner as this becomes a distant memory for us all. You are both in our prayers.

God Bless,

Lindsay Spengler

William said...

Hi Gina,

We are praying for a new beginning for Jessica for her path to recovery.

Kathy, Julia, and Bill.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for a full recovery for Jessica! We think of you often and our thoughts and prayers are with you!

Love and Prayers,
Rachelle Thompson and Family

Aunt Carol said...

Dear Sara... After seeing Jessica last week I agree that she is the most courageous young lady that I know. We are all praying real hard for her speedy recovery. Mama sends her love to you and Jessica. She asks me every day to read your blogs. We all send our love and prayers. I call David each day for updates and pass them along to Mom & Vinnie...We love you both.....Your sister.. Carol

Anonymous said...

From Cousin Regina's friend:


I haven't been able to post a comment, but I HAVE been following the journey. May the Lord bless them all... they all have a tough road ahead of them. I pray the treatment eliminates the problems this young lady has been enduring.

Linda

Linda said...

Please post this:

I am personally unable to post a comment, but thankfully a friend is doing it for me. May the Lord hold you all in the palm of His hand. May He lift you up with you are down. May He comfort you when you are stressed. May He reach down with His mighty touch and heal this young lady completely. May the Lord station angels around you to give you strength, support, and comfort during this time.

Mariam said...

hi jessica and sarah,
we r watching your life in mexico and praying for jessica everyday,god will give a special courage and strength to jessica... hope everything goes out well !...hope to see jessica home at garden city in the living room watching tv with everybody, with prayer and love.

-mariam and mini.

Anonymous said...

trust om the Lord for He is Good.
Trust in yourself for He has given you the knowledge, free will and love to help you follow the path He has chosen for you

Look for the brightness of each day=as today brought David to us, Linda and Roger Maitan,

Your lost sister has been found. I am hear to help unburden your pain. I am hear to give you prayers for Jessica's recovery.

Let us pray together.
ST. Anthony, St Anthony, please come around. Jessica's good health is missing and cannot be found. Please help us find Jessica's good health. In return we will continue our prayers and let the world know that St anythony has answered our prayers

Peace and love to all the Stevens family.
roger and linda maitan

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and Prayers are with you, Jessica, and the Stevens family. Thinking about you and looking forward to great news.

Love,
Bill and Marie

Lynn and Larry said...

I don't know you, Jessica or your family, but have been praying for you for many months. Your friend Nancy is a friend of mine and when a friend asks for prayer, that's what you do. You, Jessica and the medical staff are covered in prayers from coast to coast. What a Blessing to be able to follow your remarkable daughter on her journey. Although I am very sad this has happened to Jessica, I know without a doubt that everything happens for a reason. The Lord will give you, Jessica, and your family the strength to get you through this. Pr 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Your friend in Christ - Lynn & Larry

Nancy Sustersic said...

Sarah Gina, Lynn & Larry are some of the strongest prayer warriors and friends that we have known for 15 years. We are all blessed to have their team enveloping Jessica with love and hope and prayers!
With Love Nancy
Thank you dear friends!

Angel said...

Gina, This one's for you: I was praying for Jessica yesterday afternoon, walking up from the beach, with the storm clouds threatening and the wind picking up. I looked up at the sky, and saw a rainbow! I knew I had to tell you. Jessica is in good hands and surrounded by love and prayers. So are you! Hang in there, my friend!! Love always, Angel

Anonymous said...

Jessica, Diane and I have been praying for you almost every day since your Mom's neighbor Louise placed this on our church prayer chain. Our hearts are with you and your family as you take this very tough journey. Thank you all for your testimony of faith and trust in the Lord. Our faith is strengthened because of you. We will continue to pray for you throughout this trial.

Roland & Diane Bernier

Aunt Carol said...

Dear Sarah & Jessica
Today is Monday, August 24th. I miss you both so much.. The hardest thing for me is not talking to you every day. I will wait for todays blog. Love you both and miss you both. Love Carol

Anonymous said...

Dear Gina,

I am praying for Jessica,you David, Katherine and Michelle everyday.You are an amazing family.

Love Paula

Rita MacDonald said...

Dear Jessica and family,
My heart remembers you all day long and I pray fervently in Christ who is our all. As I mentioned in an earlier message, my 12 yr old daughter has RSD also. You are in the midst of my thoughts through the day and I love to lift you up in confident prayer! Thank you for sharing your story.

“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”- Psalm 116:1-2

Anonymous said...

To the Stevens family,
Remember that God loves us and cares for us always. He is holding Jessica in the palm of His hand."For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
In prayer,
Linda

Irene said...

Dear Gina and Jessica...even though I have not written personally; my daughter Monica has been keeping me posted from this sight. You have been in my prayers continously. It is through Jessica's and your strength and will to live that has given me hope and inspiration. Please know that even though you are far away, we are all praying for you. Love Irene Norniella

Lenny said...

Gina and Jessica,
Dave has been wonderful keeping me posted on your incredible journey. My family is praying for both of you and your family. We're thinking of you...

Len & Fran

Anonymous said...

Gina and Jessica, You are both one day closer to being pain free, both physical and emotional. I hope our prayers give you strength. Love, Bonnie and family

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Jasonqwoj said...

hi jessica and sarah, we r watching your life in mexico and praying for jessica everyday,god will give a special courage and strength to jessica... hope everything goes out well !...hope to see jessica home at garden city in the living room watching tv with everybody, with prayer and love. -mariam and mini.


Jessica's Journey to Getting Her Life Back

By Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)


As we begin this journey toward renewed health we would like to express our sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick and all the work he has done and continues to do in order to bring patients like my daughter Jessica back to a more meaningful life and restored from this devastating illness. Also, special thanks to Dr. Fernando Cantu and his team of doctors in Mexico for taking on a difficult case like my daughters, Words cannot express the renewed sense of hope that we have that one day, our Jessica, can regain her life that has been taken away from her – God Bless you all!

Jessica’s Story

Once an A+ student who loved school, was involved in many extracurricular activities, played varsity tennis, lacrosse and gymnastics and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, our daughter Jessica has spent the last 3 years incapacitated, paralyzed, unable to sit or walk and eat. She spends her days confined to a hospital bed, wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, due to severe light and sound sensitivity.

Jessica and her sisters, 2 mos. before becoming ill

The pain she feels is indescribable and all attempted treatments have not even come close to relieving her suffering.

She has seen many doctors, undergone numerous painful tests and procedures, has been prescribed various medications, and has been hospitalized frequently including being intubated and on a ventilator. She is severely debilitated and currently is only 92 pounds. This is certainly no life for a 21 year old young woman!


Jessica is suffering from neurologic Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a severely debilitating and painful neuromuscular disorder. She suffers daily with constant sharp, stabbing, tingling and burning pain; throughout her body; severe headaches; paralysis; intense muscle spasms; gastroparesis; seizures; twisting of her limbs (dystonia); sensitivity to any touch (allodynia); extreme sensitivity to lights and sounds; excessive sweating; swelling; fevers; softening of bones; decreased hair growth; redness and discoloration of the limbs; and painful skin ulcers. The pain is constant and unrelenting, but despite her suffering, her faith in God remains and she still has hope for her future.

Jessica's painful skin lesions

Jessica's journey began in 1999, when she was only 11 years old. She became very ill with Mono and was bed bound for 3 months. She subsequently developed RSD (stage 1) of the lower right leg. She received early intervention and returned to playing sports and enjoying her life.

Jessica, age 15, at summer camp

Four years later, in 2003, while away at a sleep-away camp, she developed a rash behind her right knee, coincidentally in the same leg that previously had RSD!

At the time, the camps nurse & doctor told her that it was “duck rash” – a rash from swimming in the lake with duck feces. However, Jessica was able to obtain photos from camp from another camper which shows the classic “bulls-eye” rash from Lyme disease! It wasn’t until much later and only after developing symptoms and becoming very ill, was the diagnosis of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (another tick-borne infection) made.


Most people (and doctors!) have no idea how serious Lyme disease can become and no clue how to properly diagnose it. Unfortunately, if she would have been promptly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, the RSD would not have been triggered and she would not be suffering.

July 2003, Jessica's Lyme disease rash

If it wasn’t for her doctor, Dr. Liegner, and his expertise with complex cases of Lyme, and his determination to try any means in getting her well, by getting a “team” of doctors on her case, we wouldn’t be here today, still fighting. We owe him a deep sense of gratitude for all he does for Jessica!

During these past three years and with the pain becoming more intense and unbearable she has been seeing Dr. Finkelstein for pain management. He has even made house calls to spare her the pain of coming by ambulance to his office. Jessica has been treated with multiple pain medications, at the highest possible doses, as well as an implanted dilaudid pain pump, which delivers potent medication straight into her spine. Many doctors have told us that with the amount of medications Jessica was taking would be enough to “kill a horse”—yet they had little to no effect on her. If it wasn’t for Dr. Finkelstein trying to alleviate her constant, severe, unrelenting pain, I don’t know how she would have managed. He is very special to us as well.

Recently Jessica was transported by air ambulance to Tampa, Florida to see Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, a world renowned RSD expert. Dr. Kirkpatrick told us that Jessica is one of the most debilitated patients he has ever seen.

Jessica getting into the air-ambulance to go see Dr. Kirkpatrick

Upon his testing and because Jessica's condition is so severe, Dr. Kirkpatrick is recommending the only treatment available that can possibly help relieve her suffering, and afford her some semblance of a “normal” life - the Ketamine Coma Procedure - a clinical trial that is being conducted in Monterrey, Mexico.

During this procedure Jessica will be put into a coma , with the hope that her nerves, brain and spinal cord will “reset” -so that her nervous system sends the correct signals to her brain.


Yes, this is a radical, scary treatment, however, for Jessica, "scary" is thinking that she could spend the rest of her life in this condition, unable to walk, eat, or take care of herself. Since all reasonable treatments have failed to help her, we feel we must try everything possible to help Jessica regain her life.

We understand that due to Jessica’s fragile condition, there is a high risk associated with this procedure. We are also aware that other patients with severe RSD like Jessica's have had success.

Jessica’s goal is to one day become a doctor. Our hope is that with this study she can have that chance. As her Mom, I know that she will be a great doctor because when a patient presents in her office and says “Doctor, I am in pain and words cannot express how bad it is” – my daughter –Dr. Jessica– will be able to say - :I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. So, take a seat and let me tell you a story”….

We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have been led to Dr. Kirkpatrick.

God is good and with his help guiding Dr. Cantu and Dr. Kirkpatrick, our hope is for Jessica to be able to return to us whole again and pain-free!