Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jessica - Steps Into the "Ring"

Hi to all,


***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!!!

Update on Jessica:

Jessica did receive a booster yesterday and we continue to see the increased movements in the left leg! The right leg, not as much, but we are hopeful that, in time, that leg will respond more and more. In a few days we will have been here 3 months (on the 20th) and I thought I would, at that time, do an update on the "questions & answers" format, as I did at the 2 month interval.

Please pray for Jessica today. In my prayers this morning at 4 AM, I came up with this analogy for her:

Imagine Jessica is a "prized fighter" and she is stepping into the ring for the fight of her life. In that ring are her two opponents( not one but two) those being RSD and Lyme. This is the fight of her life! How many rounds will she have to face and how many can she endure? Will she emerge victorious, will she be crowned a "champion?".........
I know, as only A Mom can know, that Jessica is a fighter! She faces that "ring" everyday! She faces each new "round" of challenges and struggles that are put in front of her with inner strength, courage and perseverance! The "ropes" that surround her and hold her up in the "ring" are those of her ultimate healer - our Lord, our God! She WILL be victorious, she will stare her two opponents - RSD and Lyme - right in the face --- she will last all the "rounds" that are necessary. And ultimately, she will be crowned a "champion" for enduring the ultimate "fight" of her life and her prize will be that of "healing!"

Thanks for all your continued prayers and comments for Jessica and may God bless you all with courage and strength today!

From Mexico, with love,
Sarah Gina (Jessica's Mom - always)

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize!
I Corinthians 9:24-27

***To post a comment, CLICK on comments below**




jkurz said...

Dear Jessica and Gina,

I am confident that with our Lord's help you will come out of this fight as the champion. You've already won so many rounds and I pray that you only will have a few more to win. Keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

You are already a champion that is why you have such strong opponents! I know in my heart that you will win this one. Thank goodness for the everyday small victories that keep you pushing forward despite the obstacles!
Take care,

Anonymous said...

God Bless You, Jessica! Crystal

Anonymous said...

We know Jessica is a fighter just like her Mom. We pray everyday that she will get well soon and return home to live a healthy life. Hang in there you have so many friends and family thinking about you and praying for you.

I can't wait to hear about the necklaces. What a wonderful idea.

love Ashley, Kevin Paula and Ray

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are always for you.
Today some of Barbara's friends had a little ladies time for Barbara and her baby boy that will be born in January. I was thinking about all the fun you had when Barbara babysat at your GC home. I pray that you will be able to have your sight renewed so that you will have the pleasure of seeing her baby. Her little girl is a real pip= never forgets a thing and comes out with the funniest things- she is just like her mom.
So dear Lord, please give Jessica the strength to restore he health.
St. Anthony, St. Anthony please look around, Jess's signt needs to be found.
Linda Maitan

The Scheffel Family said...

We have been praying for you and your family at Resurrection, GC. We will continue to pray and read the blog, and look forward to the day when you are back in NY. You are certainly an inspiration in faith!

Madelon said...

Good morning Jessica and Gina from Long Island. I hope that you both had a restful night. Are you ready to continue that fight, Jessica? Do you have your gloves on to give it a one, two, three punch to the Lyme disease and RSD? With God's help, I know that you will get through this. I pray for strength for both of you. I admire the strength and faith that you have, Gina. My prayers and thoughts are with you. I wish you a day of miracles, even if they are small miracles..with God, everything is possible. God bless you both! Madelon

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica, We continue to raise our prayers for healing to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for strength to go the distance for you and your entire family. At Saturday night's sevice Pastor Browning expressed how lifted up he was by you and your mom through your faith, spirit and determination to win the fight. Love Peggy and Doug Kurz

William said...

Dear Gina and Jessica:

The Lord be with you! Last week Pastor Browning and I spoke and he shared with me his recent visit with you in Mexico. First and foremost, praise God for your Pastor! What a witness and show of love towards you both from your church community.

Please know that I think of you often and lift you up in prayer. I am going to add you to our prayers here in Williamsburg so that more and more people know the story and join in the healing journey.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. May His Holy Spirit enfold you. May His power lift you up. May His love be your comfort and peace.

With love: Pastor Bill Harmon

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica,
At church Pastor Browning mentioned that we should look at hopeforjessica on the internet. How moving your story is. May it comfort you to know that many people are praying for your recovery. I hope that one day you do get your wish to be a doctor for you will provide your patients with hope and compassion. May God bless you and your family.
Laura Labenberg

Gail Haase said...

Gina and Jessica,
I am praying for both of you as you undergo your journey together. Pastor Browning keeps us updated on Jessica's progress each week. He has proven to be a great blessing to our church, as I'm sure you well know. I look forward to puchasing a necklace to help with your fundraiser. I really enjoyed your website, so keep up the good work. Keep thinking positive and pray. The power of prayer is an amazing thing. Lutheran Church of the Resurrection continues to pray for you and think of you. I wish you improved health and send you my love, Gail Haase

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica and Gina,
As you well know there is power in prayer and all of the wonderful family of Resurrection is praying for both of you and your whole family. May our Lord and Savior hold you all in the palms of His hands and you feel His strength at all times. Trust in God with all your heart and He will sustain you. Please let us know as soon as Jessica's necklace is available. We will wear it with great pride. I love reading Jessica's blog every day. Deacon Marion Legler

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!