Monday, October 19, 2009

GOD Has a Plan.....

Hi everyone,


Just wanted to thank you all for your continued prayers. Jessica's high fevers are thought to be due to a catheter infection and so she was brought down to surgery to remove the catheter and implant another one on the other side of her chest. At the same time, just to play it safe, she was tested for influenza, and thank God that came back negative. Due to the infection, though, she will be put on two different antibiotics. It certainly has been a week of weeks!

But, even through these problems with unexpected infections this week, there is and always has been one "constant" strength, one undeniable force, who watches over her and gives her the "armor" she needs to keep pushing forward and to ultimately win this battle - that "strength" is of God, our Lord and Savior! His word and His plan is oh so powerful!

We had a very special visitor that came to see Jessica tonight. Our dear Dr. Rainbow (aka Dr. Zavala) brought her son, Luis, who is a priest, to visit with her! We were so honored with his visit. He was a private secretary for five years to Pope John Paul II! He is such a gentle man; very soft spoken, very smart, very genuine. When he entered the room you could feel the special warmth that only comes from being a true man of God! Currently his work brings him to Monterrey every few weeks, so he has said he would like to come back again to talk to her. His message was simple and loving - for Jessica to have the hope in HIS word, to keep fighting no matter what, and to remember that God does have a plan for all those who believe in Him! In the short time that we have come to know Dr. Zavala, she has made us feel like a part of her family as well! We are so thankful to God for her and her family!

Jeremiah 29:11

In God's plan,
Jessica's Mom


Princess House Fundraiser For Jessica's Journey
This Saturday - October 24th - 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Indigo Lakes Clubhouse - Naples, Fl. 34119
RSVP - Carol Biron - (239)304-7589
or e-mail:

***Great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping and have a Fun afternoon - winning prizes as well!!!***
***All proceeds will be donated to Jessica's Journey Savings Club***



Uncle Vinnie said...

Hi Jessica and Sara Gina, We are praying every day and night for you.You are in our thoughts and prayers every moment and we know that with your strength and determination and with Mom at your side along with all the wonderful doctors,friends,family,God--keep the faith. Have only sweet dreams and joy of recovery .

Anonymous said...

Just thinking of you......Crystal

Anonymous said...

hi, jessica! i'm delighted to read you're moving your leg more and you can touch it without pain. celebrate the small victories! we have to hold on to the positive. i know you'll fight off this infection and as well as rsd.
my parents were in san diego over the weekend for a wedding. my husband, daughter and myself packed up the car and had our first road trip in years! it was a quick visit, filled with laughter, love, faith and thoughts of you and devon. you are constantly in our paryers. keep the faith, jessica. God is so very good and you too will have your miracle in monterrey.
love and blessings,
emily wilford

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica and Mrs. Stevens,

I thought of you guys as I heard a song this week on the radio. The song is called "He is" by Mark Schultz. I had used it this week for my update and it reminded me a lot of what you were saying in your post. God does have a plan. Revelations says "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." When our word seems to be spiraling out of control, it is so comforting to know that God IS. He WAS. And he ALWAYS will be. That is the basis of this song. My prayer for you and Jessica is to feel today, right now in Mexico, that you will feel his presence and to know that he is with you and he IS...

Here is the link if you want to check out the song:

He IS by Mark Schutlz

Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, I've never been so weary
How I need to know you're near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Till I'm on my knees
Till my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

[ Mark Schultz Lyrics are found on ]
He lives
He loves
he's always with me

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Through every fear
And every doubt
And every tear I shed
Down every road
I'm not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
And He always will be

He lives
He loves
he's always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still, and know
Be still, my soul
He is

Love you guys,

Lindsay Spengler

Anonymous said...

Linda in Saratoga

please let us know if there are any more fund raisers on Long Island.

Anonymous said...

Linda in Saratoga

please let us know if there are any more fund raisers on Long Island.

michelle! said...

hi jessica, it is michelle i just wanted to say hi and that i miss you..i also wrote you a poem in creative writing...


my loving caring sister-
2 years old...
i couldn't say jessica
i called her wessie

she is pretty-
brown hair
green eyes
a bright smile
a warm heart

she sometimes gets on my nerves
the BIG sister
getting attention
born first
the favorite

she is my best friend
hide and seek
board games
i love her because..
she is my sister

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!