Monday, October 26, 2009
Help From NY Arrived Yesterday!!! 2,000 Views of YouTube!!!
Hi to all,
VIEW JESSICA ON FOX TV - CLICK ON LINK:
Yesterday was an eventful day as we welcomed our dear friend Cecilia to Room #844 in Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey. As you may know, she is originally from Colombia and speaks fluent spanish, so she is going to be really helpful in getting us different things that we need. She brought along with her goodies from home, get well cards from the Naples fundraiser and a get well sign-in book from the Garden City fundraiser, as well as presents from some of our friends! She also brought along a special letter to Jessica which I will share with you as soon as I know it's OK with the family that sent it. It is nice to see a familiar face here in Mexico and to have her companionship as well!
Today, Jessica is scheduled to receive another ketamine booster to help alleviate some of her symptoms and to also continue the progress in the movements of her legs. These boosters are essential post coma and necessary to reducing the pain associated with RSD and for healing the body as a whole! Dr. Cantu would also like to do an MRI of her brain to rule out certain causes that are still plaguing her in regards to her constant "headaches" that she is still experiencing. We ask for continued prayer for her vision to be restored to normal as quick as possible!
I would also like to personally thank Gloria from Union Church for bringing over some books, cards, magazines and a fan for the room, and also Sylvia for always bringing special prayers & also goodies from Lety's - a really delicious bakery or "panaderia" here in Monterrey.
Also, Jessica and I had the pleasure of meeting someone very special to our dear Dr. Rainbow -- her husband, Dr. Zavala! He came to see Jessica on Saturday and we were honored with his visit! We had heard so much about him and I must say he is a very spiritual man; highly intelligent, most sincere, and also funny at times! He is a genuinely nice man and they make a very nice couple! They had stopped by after mass and before meeting up with some friends to say hi! I thanked him for "sharing" his wife with us - as she has taken a very special interest in Jessica and I must say the feeling is mutual! There is a very special love between them. Jessica looks forward to her visits everyday and she really feels that Dr. Rainbow is her special "angel" from God! Her love is felt in everything she does and she is like family to us, more than words can ever say!
So today - let us thank God for those special "friends" that are always there for us and those who become so much more than friends - those that become our "family"!!!
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17
With all our love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)
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at 2:02 AM
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!