Friday, November 20, 2009
23,000 Views of Blog!!! 3,500 Views of YouTube!!!
Hi to all,
TO VIEW JESSICA ON FOX TV - CLICK ON LINK:
SPECIAL NEWS: I have heard that the necklace is due to be launched this Saturday - Nov. 21st!!! As soon as I have all the info and links I will post them on the blog!!! Keep looking for the updates, as I know from the blog comments that you are all eager to see how beautiful it really is and to purchase one for your very own!!! I will post it as soon as possible so keep looking for the updates!!!
***There is going to be a special fund raising item that is going to be announced very soon. It involves a special necklace that was designed especially for Jessica and all the proceeds from the sales of this item will be donated to Jessica's Journey Savings Club! I have seen it and it is beautiful! It was made in honor of Jessica and her efforts to increase Lyme disease awareness, something that Jessica has been very passionate about since she has been battling that disease for the past four years as well! As soon as I have all the info and links, I will blog this SPECIAL NEWS and how it all came about and how and when it will become available!!!
SPECIAL THANKS TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of my youngest daughter Michelle's best friends is Genevieve Klatt. They are in the 8th grade at Garden City Middle School. Both of her parents, Wayne & Renee Klatt, have been very kind to David & Michelle in my absence.
Wayne Klatt approached my husband and asked if it was OK for him to run a fund raiser at his office on Wall St. in New York City. David said yes and thanked him for organizing such a kind gesture on Jessica's behalf.
Words cannot express our gratitude to Wayne and the employees at CREDIT SUISSE EQUITY DEPARTMENT.
They held the fund raiser on Nov. 13th and this past Wednesday, the Klatt's gave my husband David the proceeds. They raised $19,250 for Jessica's Journey!!! Amazing - simply amazing!!! God bless the Klatt Family and all the employees at his office!!!
There aren't enough words to express our gratitude --- they just don't seem to be enough! But, I will say, that our hopes will be to one day bring Jessica back home - "healed" - to start her "new" life. It is then that the "ultimate thank-you" will be said to ALL of you --- because it is with all of your kindness, love, prayers, and GENEROSITY --- that have made this all possible for her!!!
With much love and appreciation,
The Stevens' Family
Update on Jessica:
Jessica and I have been in Monterrey for 3 months now and oh what a journey it has been! I remember when we first arrived here. Not only did we have "packed" with us all the supplies that we thought we would need, but also, more importantly, we "packed" with us the hopes and dreams of what could be.
For Jessica, she "packed" with her the hope of a life free of unbearable pain and the ultimate healing of her body from all sicknesses! The hope of one day being able to have a "normal" life again in a body that was "whole" again! We both knew, as well as her doctors, that the road ahead would be tough! That a body like hers that has been sick for so long would take time and that she had a big "fight" ahead of her. That Jessica and her journey to wellness would be fought on a day to day basis - just as she has from the beginning of her illness that began almost four years ago.
For me, as her Mom, I have had to take this day to day journey with her as well. This is not to say that her Dad and her two sisters have not endured this path with her as well, because they too have had to struggle along with her, but ultimately, when a child is ill, there really is one person that they want - and that is their Mom. For a child, they feel that Mommy will make it "all better" - as only a Mom can! Try as you might, there are times that even a Mom can't answer that call---that ultimately, we are ALL, in the hands of our Father above!
So today, I ask for continued prayers for Jessica. For her to continue this journey with the strength, conviction, and perseverance she has shown from the beginning! That God will continue to hold her in the palms of his hands and give her the peace that passeth all understanding to endure the road ahead. I also ask you to pray for the doctors here in Mexico, especially Dr. Cantu, who, day in and day out, help to guide her recovery, as only they can, with their wisdom, knowledge and expertise!
Jessica and I have seen the progress she has made since we have been here. Has it been easy? No. Are there hurdles and challenges still ahead? Yes. But, we have seen the miracles that can happen. We will not stop until we see that miracle unfold for her as well! She has been through alot and deserves that and even more! May God bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you and give you peace!
In God's love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths".
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at 1:38 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!