Thursday, August 27, 2009


Hi to all our loved ones,

SHE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning Dr. Cantu and his team will begin the process of bringing Jessica out of the ketamine coma! He wants to do it slowly so that she wakes up on Friday - the 27th. I knew my Jessica could do it and she did!

I can only say that I am completely in awe of my daughter Jessica. These past five days have been truly amazing. To see what she is enduring in the hopes of a "pain-free" and functioning life, is so inspiring to me. I have felt my heart pounding with anticipation on how she will feel after this and what is in store for us in the difficult days ahead. I am so glad that Nita is coming to help us.

Apparently, when you come out of the coma, you can have vivid hallucinations, some of them frightening! You may not recognize your family at first and you may have visual problems and body movements that you can't control.

For me, I just can't wait to talk to her again and to tell her that I admire her so much and ask her what it felt like to be in the coma!
I guess in the days and weeks ahead we will know how successful the treatment is for Jessica.

Keep the prayers coming as she emerges from the coma. Our hope is for the miracle to happen for her and we pray that this will bring her a "rebirth" into a new life that is free of pain and sickness and only good things - she deserves it more than anyone I know!

I will keep you posted!

With renewed hope for Jessica,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)

***To post a comment, Click on Comments below***


marianne Caparrelli said...

Gina, We are so thankful Jessica is doing so well. We continue to pray for a miracle as she emerges from her coma. All our love, Marianne & Rob

Nancy said...

Sarah Gina how brave you both are! How GREAT God is!!
My prayer if for that wonderful MIRACLE too!
You are love, you are almost there!
Kiss Nita for me too.
love Nancy

JoAnna said...

I have been thinking about you and Jessica every day and I am so happy to hear that she has made it through yet another hurdle in her recovery!!! Can't wait for you all to be back home and for Jessica to finally be pain free...I know it will be soon. Love, JoAnna

Anonymous said...

We hold both Jessica, her family and Sarah in our thoughts and prayers! We value our time together, the support we gather from each other, and the special gifts our girls will be able to give the world...once they are PAIN FREE! Our girls are such strong women...and it is their hope and strength that have brought us together in ICU. You are a special woman Jessica, and so is your mother! Emily's Family

Anonymous said...

Sarah & Jessica - Your Journey will renew the faith of many. What's important now is the love and support of all your family and friends. I for one, continue to pray for all of you everyday and ask God to continue giving you have the strength to pull past the coming difficult days. Love, Barbara

Lindsay Spengler said...

Hi Mrs. Stevens and Jessica,

We will be praying for Jessica during this time. Praise the Lord she has come this far and all is going well. We will continue in our prayers for you all.

Love In Christ,


Anonymous said...

The Blessed Mother will guide us. Remember how she watched her Son in such pain. But He rose again.

Blessed Mother help Gina and Jessica through this time when they need you. thank you

love and prayers
Linda Maitan

Anonymous said...

I knew she could do it! I look forward to hearing about her experience. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!!! Crystal Ulmer

Anonymous said...

You don't know me. I heard your story and are praying very hard for you to have peace and to be painfree

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina I yet received the tex from
David we have to believed in God that is incredible! we love
You and Jessica
Cecilia & Jimmy

Love from Aunt Carol said...

Dear Sara and Jessica
Terrific news from Mexico. Jessica does it again. She proves just how strong she is. I am so happy that things are moving in the right direction. I hope that Neada made it there by today. (I am sorry if I spelled her name incorrectly.) Please, please...get better real soon and come home. We love you...Love always, Aunt Carol

BRO VINNIE said...


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!