Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Funny Story!

Hi to all,


Thur - Nov. 5th - 5PM
@ Uno's
Vanderbilt Beach Rd. & Airport Rd.
Naples, Fl.
"Bling" Happy Hour - Sip & Shop"
Special Drink to be Served:

Call Nancy @ cell-(419)350-9058 for Details
ALSO: There is some exciting news about a very special fundraising item that is due to be launched really soon! As soon as I have all the correct information, I will blog it to all of you. So keep looking for this "Special News!"
Jessica and I had a scare in our old room which I thought I would share with you all. The night before we were set to move out of room 844, I was standing at the sink and all of a sudden I felt something fall onto my shoulder. As I looked down to the floor I saw a giant bug scurrying on the floor! It was black and green and BIG and I knew I had to corner it quickly or there would be no sleeping in that room that night! Jessica heard me and asked what was going on? I told her I was trying to find the bug that had fallen out of the air conditioning vent. She started to scream! You see, she does not like anything to do with bugs anymore after being bit by the tick at camp that summer of 2003 and I can't blame her for this fear at all! (Ticks and the infections they can give you, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, bartonella, etc., to name a few, are no laughing matter - we know this all too well - unfortunately!) I was able to get the wastebasket and capture the bug underneath the rim. With Jessica screaming I proceeded to run quickly to the nurses station to get some help! As I approached the desk I saw one man and about 6 nurses standing there. In my panic to get help fast, I said the following to them in spanish: "Necesito un hombre muy grande para ayudarme --- tengo un "cucharita" en mi cuarto"!!! They ALL began to laugh? They all, in unison, said: "Un "cucharita" o un "cucaracha"???? Apparently --- I had asked for help in getting a "Teaspoon" out of our room, instead of a "BUG"!!! I guess my spanish is not very good in panic situations! With that - 3 nurses ran to the room, and, with Jessica still screaming, they unleashed the bug from under the wastebasket, and the rest is history!!!
Just another day in the Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey!

Jessica will most likely receive a booster today, depending on her blood counts. Her left side of her body seems to be doing better than the right side, so we hope she can get the added relief that only boosters can give her! Please pray for Jessica to have some added pain relief today. Also, please pray for Devon who is still here, and Justin, who returned last night for some added treatments here in Mexico.

Special thanks go out to Nancy and Team Jessica for the successful fundraising event at Tropical Smoothie Cafe last night and thank you to all who attended! I understand that they enjoyed great smoothies and wraps, all for a great cause - to help our Jessica and our family as well! We really have such great friends - our new "extended family" and we are truly blessed and honored to call them our "friends". God is truly a good and awesome God in that he always provides our needs!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose". Romans 8:28

In God's love,
Jessica's Mom

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Anonymous said...

Hi'ya Gals,
It was nice to sit & chat with everyone last night.I'm soooo lucky to have met wonderful people through you both....A BIG Thank You!! I had an immune booster smoothie,no sugar,lots of vitamins,some home made chicken soup, and took home sandwiches to share with my hubby Michael.Left overs for my lunch today!
Always in my thoughts & prayers,

Robyn Weiner said...

Bracelets were a huge success at Garden City Middle School! I wanted to share how proud I am of Michele and friends for making beautiful "Hope For Jessica" bracelets. They were a big hit with students and staff and we sold out the first day! The staff were so touched by the girls' efforts that we are going to have a "dress down day" to raise our own money for Jessica.

Anonymous said...

mrs. stevens & jessica,
victor and i transported justin and his father yesterday from tampa. we were going to suprise you but we had another flight back to the states. we wished we could have seen you. justin was a super nice guy as well as his father. we will continue to pray for you. take care, crystal ulmer

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!